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Full text of "The broken trail [microform] : pages from a pastor's experience in Western Canada"

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1996 




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MKIOCOrY nSOlUTION TBI CHAIT 

(ANSI end ISO TEST CHART No. 2) 




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Ck 



k 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



THIRD EDITION 




•He was a member of lhe_Xonh-West ,Mounted_Police/' 



:)' 



The Broken Trail 

PACES FROM A PASTOR'S 
EXPERIENCE IN WESTERN 
CANADA, V V V » V » 



Geoixe W. Kerby, B.A. 

Cralnl Meihodut Chureli. 
Caliarr. AJbcrta 



? 



2iid Edlllon 



Toronto 

Williora Brim 

1910 






PR(pO-L| 
E(c9 

c,2. 



<tu»36032 



Coiwriikl, Cuad>, 1909, kj 
GEORGE W. KERBY. B.A. 



TO 

My Wife 

AND THE CONGREGATION 
OF THE 

CE TRAL METHODIST CHURCH 

CALGARY 

I INSCRIBE THIS LITTLE 

BOOK 



PREFACE 

Thxsx incidents form eome of the more 
outstanding experiences of my pastorate 
in the West They are not intended to 
convey the impression that the West is in 
any way worse than the East, but my da- 
sire in sending them forth, in the midst 
of the strain and stress of an arduous 
pastorate, is, that the recital of them, 
in this more permanent form, may be 
abundantly blessed, especially to the 
young life of our Dominion. 

The facts in these stories have been in 
no way altered, but I have taken the lib- 
erty of adding some coloring and shading 
to give them a better literary value. 

" For wisdom dealt with mortal powers. 
Where tmtli In closest words iliall tall, 
Wheu truth embodied in a tale 
Shall enter In at lowly doors." 

r 



PBBFAOB 



I wuh MpediOly to .oknowledge iut 
indebtednew to my friend, Eng«,e Milne 
Ootgrove, at whose euggeetion I under- 
took to plooe thcM ineddento befora the 
public, for invalutUe M«rt«ioe in iwi^ 
jug for publication. 

O. W. KUBT. 

^« Parsonage, 

Calgary, September, 1909. 



PREFACE TO SECOND ^EDITION 

Thk phenomenal sale of the first edition 
in four weeks, has made a second edition 
necessary. 

The kindly reception it received from 
the reviewers and the public, throvi^xhont 
the Dominion, and even in the States, not 
only exceeded my fondest hopes but con- 
finned, abundantly, that the book has ful- 
filled the purpose with which I sent it 
forth. 

No less, indeed, do I prize the many 
letters that have come to me daily, from 
hearts that have been touched and sancti- 
fied. 

They will be cherished as the manv pre- 
cious seals and tokens of the author's' work 
and ministiy. 

G. W. Kebby. 



CONTENTS 

PREFACE 

7 

I A SON OF HOLLAND ,, 

II THE DESPERADO ^^ 

III THE OUTCAST 

THE FORBIDDEN CITY 

A r — ■ '•' 



ILLUSTR riONS 



"H« WM ■ mimlwr ol th« North- Wmi '^"' 

MounttdPollc." ., .. fronil^'-^ 

" H« moved ■ iMp toward htr " 44 

El«ht hundr.d mll.t acroM • contlnrat to 
win ■ brid* 

" Throw down your •rm»," h* ihoutad, . . 
I'm • d«p«r*t* man " 

" A mlnut* latar ha appaarad with hia hands 
ovar hia haad " 

" I waa puahinc my way through iha bruah 
and willow by tha rivar banli, when I 
atnmblad on a cabin " 

•' Thta, my child, ia Iha pledge and aymbol ol 
the Divine mercy " 



71 



«2 



113 



Love is indestructible, 
lis holy flame forever burneth; 
From Heaven it came, to Heaven re- 
tumeih. 

— Southey. 

You may break, you may shatter the vasn, 

if you will, 
B::t the scent of the roses will hang round 

it still. 

— Moore. 

With thee, my bark, I'll swiftly go 

Athwart the foaming brine; 
Nor care what land thou bear'st me to. 
So not again to mine. 

Welcome, welcome, ye dark blue waves; 

And when you fail my sight. 
Welcome, ye deserts and ye caves! 

My native land— Good night! 

— Byron. 

But the greatest of these is love. 

— Saint Paul. 



i 



A SON OF HOLLAND 

He came from the low, flat lands washed 
by the Northern Sea. Massive in his 
strength, tall and broad-shouldered, neatly 
groomed and garbed, he looked like some 
modem Apollo. He reminded me of the 
days when physical prowess was the 
primal glory of the race. His long, dark 
hair lay fold upon fold over his brow, 
clustering loosely round his bright ruddy 
face. 

His features were somewhat rugged, 
but there was considerable delicacy of 
expression in the contour of his face, and 
in the soft light of his blue eyes. Fate 
and the world had mellowed and refined. 

It was four years since he had left his 
sea-girt home for the great lone land, 
where, perchance, he might forget. But 
his hungering, yearning love only grew 
with the years — the land of hope was the 
land of illusion. All he loved, his joy, 
IB 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 

his trust in life, lay behind him in the 
wake of the waves, and that no waters of 
Lethe could ever quencL 

The intensity of his gaze, no less than 
his long black hair and soldierly bearing, 
arrested my attention as he wandered up 
the aisle and took a seat near the pulpit. 
It was the eve of Christmas. Before us 
blended a vision of the near and the dis^ 
tant. We were travelling back again 
through the mystic years to the shrine of 
childhood. Home, home, home was on our 
lips, and repeated in a thousand hearts. 
It was the hour when hope was bom. 

Next morning I was in the study earlier 
than usual, and while yet the dawn was 
breaking I was on my way to Bethlehem. 
Peace in the home, dear Lord, peace in the 
empire, pesuie in the heart — peace on earth, 
good will to men. The old song repeated 
itself again and again. 

On my eaie fell the heavy footsteps 

1« 



A SON OF HOLLAND 



of a man who for an hour or more had 
been pacing the cement sidewalk in front 
of the window. It was strange enough 
at that hour of the morning, and at inter- 
vals in my work I would listen with a 
feeling >{ expectancy. Ultimately he 
came towards the door and remained there 
for some time without making any further 
advance. More from curiosity than from 
interest, I opened the door, and there, 
standing on the steps, was the man whose 
appearance had attracted the attention of 
so many people, and my own, at the ser- 
vice the night before. 

He was so unlike the usual type of 
peripatetic wanderer that finds his way 
to a Western parsonage that I welcoied 
him as cordially as one would greet a 
friend. The strength and lustre of his 
personality as he stood with a broken 
apology upon his lips made a ready im- 
preeaion upon ma 

1 ,7 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



" A happy Christmas to you," I said, 
laying my hand on his broad shoulder. 

"A happy Christmas to you, sir," he 
replied, with a slight Dutch accent. " I 
have come early and you will excuse me 
• ■ • • I cannot live this way, and 
it is just as difficult to die. . . . I 
suppose you have often to meet men like 
me?" 

" Yes, and I am always glad to." 
" I am a stranger to yon, air," he con- 
tinned meditatively. « My name is Wil- 
bur Wolfendon. I have come to ask a 
favor of you ; you will give me your con- 
fidence, I hope." 

" You are already assured of that. Be 
seated, please." 
"Yon see, sir, I am from Holland; 

perhaps this will explain ," and he 

put a bundle of letters on the table, some 

.written in German and some in Dutch. 

" I have carried them in my pocket foi 

18 



A SON OF HOLLAND 



years, and no one faas ever seen them 
before." 

It ie strange how, ai the years go by, 
such things as these become bound to our 
hearts with bands of gold. Indeed, we 
invest the thing itself with personality— 
a place, a book, a ring, a letter touched 
by a vanished hand or hallowed by some 
angel-precence. 

" Thfse are from your mother?" I in- 
quired. 

" No, not all," he replied, pointing to 
two written in fine German characters. 
" Only this, and this." 
" Your mother spoke German, did she ?" 
"No, not often. She spoke Dutch, 
but she wrote me in German, and some- 
times in English. This is the last letter 
she wrote, and this," he said, dramatically, 
m a brave attempt to conceal his feelings, 
" is all I have to remind me of her." 
He slipped a photograph from the 
19 



I 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



bundle and gazed intenflT^nrM^ 
handing it to me. 

She was dreaded in typical ont-door co.- 
tume, and wa. smiling her gweetnew and 
Badness into the face of the child that 
rested m her arms. 

"Jour mother was a beautiful woman," 
i Mid; ' I can understand how much you 
hare missed her." 

He merely, nodded, and the hot te.™ 

hat had so long glistened in his eyes now 
rollec; down his cheeks. Then he turned 
a«.de a little, as if to look out at the 
wmdow. 

" It is all right, quite manly, my friend. 
A man who has a tear to shed over the 
memory of his mother is not far from the 
kingdom. And you-well, y„u have 
changed somewhat; this must have been 
taken many years ago.'" 

"Twenty4hree years," he replied, tak- 
ing the photograph from my hand and 
80 



A SON OP HOLLAND 



ahabng his head sadly, "twenty-three 
years," and he tied the bundle together 
with a« much care as he had opened it. 

" Time is a great healei--try and be 
brave." 

" Yes, but there are some things that 
even time cannot heal. For four years 
my heart has been bleeding and the wound 
K just as deep to-day as ever." He sat 
down on the couch in a reclining position 
and with his fingers brushed back the long 
hair from his forehead. 

The words were spoken in deep, meas- 
ured tones, and without the accent attached 
to his earlier speech. This seemed the 
more strange when I looked at his strong 
physique and massive form, for one does 
not usually associate tenderness with 
strength. 

"You are too young and too brave to 
talk so despairingly. Life should be full 
of promise to a manhood such as yours." 
tl 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



And It may yet be, please God," he 
replied, aa he straightened himself up. 

I W always tried to be brave. Let 
me tell you." And he began to relate in 
etirnng words what brought him to the 
sorrow of that hour. 

His home was near Delftshaven, and 
he had often stood on the spot where the 
Pilgrim Fathers set sail for the New 
World. Like the murmur of the sea in 
the convolutions of the smooth-lipped shell, 

he oouldstiU hear it, the grey North Sea 
kissing the shoi* as he lay dreaming 
through ihe long summer day. 

When his parents died he was left in 
the care of an uncle, who, to be free from 
responsibility, sent him to a monastic insti- 
tution in France. At first he was very 
happy. His studies in French and Latin 
brought him much comfort, and he 
r^eived from his tutoi« many evidences 
of their appreciation of his progress and 
28 



A BON OP HOLLAND 

ability. But the religious life of the 
institution, de rigueur, had no fascination 
for him, and strange stirrings would swell 
in his soul for the sound of the sea he 
loved 80 well. 

A young Russian monk, known in the 
order as Father Cyril, whose duty it was 
to teach philosophy to the novitiate, showed 
him many personal favore, and in the 
hours allotted to recreation he would often 
call at the dormitory for him and walk 
arm in arm in the secluded haunts of the 
abbey. To him, indeed, he attributed 
many of the noble thoughts and ideals that 
kept him strong in the after years. 

As their friendship deepened the home- 
sicknees passed away— for why should he 
long for home when home he ha'd none, nor 
father, nor mother? and many times he 
would assure himself that he would seek 
no other home than the home of Father 
Cyril, and no other friend than the young 
S3 



II 



1;!;! 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 

Ru«i.„beneclictine.hi,tutorandhi.con. 

earlier years came to viait him duriiut the 
v.cat.on of the Universit, of Am...:5^^ 

iady, and the pious brotherhood we« 
enterta^ing the children of the viUagI J 

Jer honor But it had no special intrest 

for ham, and the advent of a friend from 
home thrilled his heart with an unj^ 

aWejoy The, talked the aftem<r!wa. 

a^ut that old world the, had both ouT 

f^w7HV^:''"'"^"^'^'^^P''«^''.the 
feelings that had made him so unhappy 

-h«— al at the monastery now s^^ 
anew over his soul. He was only be«n^ 

n^toawatentothesolitarineJoVt 
We and to the selfishness of the uncle 

whom has father had entruated not only 
tim but his property. ' 

He went back to the dormitorjr ^th 

I' 4 



A SON OP HOLLAND 



bitter thoughts in his heart and an ove^ 
whelming yearning as never before for the 
big free world outside those dark walk 
At the door Father Cyril stood waiting to 
walk out with him. 

„ "^ ''«°"°' K° to-dV. father," he said; 
fhmgs have changed with m.-- 1 shall go 
to my room instead." 

" And may God go with you, my child. 

You will tell father your trouble." And 

forthwith he followed closely behind him. 

" I speak to you now aa mv friend ?" 

"Yes, my child-say on," and the 

father kissed him on the cheek. 

"My friend from Amsterdam, m you 
know, visited me to-day, and he has filled 
my heart with a great longing that you, 
kind and loving as you are, cannot satisfy. 
Do not think hard of me, father; I am 
not born for thi. life of sacrifice and seclu- 
sion." 

A pained expression stole over the face 
86 



■ii 






^ THE BROKEN TRAIL 

of the monk, wd with m»ny endearing 
term, he pleaded with him to remain. 

"My child, there is nothing for you in 
tbi» world; your parents are no more, and 
you need to be guarded from it. ter-pta- 
tion«. You are .till young; you will yet 
find peace here-try and be content, my 
child for I shall alway. be a father to 
you." 

It wa« a painful reminder to him of hi. 
orphanhood and helplessness, but the 
Mourance of the holy father', love and 
care made him vacillate between hope and 
fear. 

"But, father," he replied, "had my 
parents lived I should not have been here. 
My uncle Mnt me here to get rid of me. I 
did not know it then, but I know it to^ay." 

•Tour unde did well, my child" 

replied the father, with tear, in hi. eyL 

•"He that loveth father or mother or 

house, or land, more than Me ia not wor- 

M 



If 



A SON OP HOLLAND 



thy of Me,' " and he kiised him on both 
cheeks. 

The kindly attitude of the father, 
rather than the words he spoke, made u 
deep impression on the boy, and there is no 
doubt had he remained longer there his 
love for him rather than for the institu- 
tion would have thrown round his shoul- 
ders the habit of a bcnedictine. But even 
that, strong and true as the love of a man 
for a man could be, could not sileace the 
home stirrings in his soul. 

A month or more later he was sitting 
at the narrow window, his head tormented 
with a maddening pain. It was the hour 
of evening prayer, and they were moving, 
monks and lay monks, novitiates, slowly 
and silently like phantoms of a dark world 
into the dimly lighted chapel adjoining the 
dormitory. Father Cyril, too, passed in 
later than was his wont, and through the 
open door Wilbur heard the low4oned 
27 





i 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 

voices singing a familiar Georgian chant. 
But now for the first time since his admis- 
sion he could not go; something— he oould 
feel it pulling at his heart— held him back. 
Hurriedly he threw into his satchel a 
few things that were dear to him— the 
photograph he had just shown to me, and 
his letters, too— and leaving the light burn- 
ing, he quietly closed the door and left the 
place forever. 

"My only regret," he said, "then and 
now is for Father Cyril. He had a great 
love for me, and I know I had for him." 
"Just like Jonathan and David," I 
broke in, surprised at the dramatic turn 
to his story, " or Cicero and Lselius and 
other immortals. That oould have hap- 
pened only in the classic circles of Europe. 
It is almost impossible in the modem life 
of our new country." 

He was too engrossed to pay any heed 
to the comparison, and the sudden inter- 
S8 



A SON OP H( LIAND 



11 



ruption seemed to excite him into many 
fervid mannerisms. His face coloured 
deeply, and he raised himself into an up- 
right position. 

"I went immediately to Dunkerque," 
he continued, " then in a barge up the canal 
into Belgium, and took the train to Amster- 
dam, where I stayed over night and then 
went on to Delftshaven. My uncle was 
away for a week, t. d when he returned it 
was evident that he had already been 
acquainted with my absence from the mon- 
astery. 

" 'You must notify them at once of 
your arrival here,' he said, in a cool and 
peremptory manner, ' and of your inten- 
tion to return to your studies in a few 
days.' 

"I was amazed that he asked me no 
questions, and that he did not even wait 
for an answer ; but he was too imperious 
and self-willed to be approached, and too 



f 






THE BROKEN TRAIL 



self-indulgent to be generous to me. 
However, I wrote Father Cyril, assuring 
him of my love and offering many apolo- 
gies for my hurried exit from the house. 
The father did not reply— but that was 
not his fault." 

He spoke many words in praise of the 
monastery- and of the order of Saint Bene- 
dict. He thought, too, that it was only 
through such discipline and p., orifice that 
men of certain proclivities— which he did 
not specify— could find the joy of living. 
Then there is joy in monasticism ?" 
I asked, somewhat incredulous of his con- 
clusions. "You speak in the present 
tense. Monasticism is the medium for 
joy hereafter." 

" Ah ! " he replied, with the emphasis 
of deep conviction, " there is the joy of 
sacrifice in this life, and its reward in 
the life hereafter; raonasticistn— I do not 
like the word— that is the only thing for 
30 



A SON OP HOLLAND 



men with temperaments like Father 
Cyril." 

It was evident from the indefiniteness 
of the answer and the impatient tone of 
his voice that he was not inclined to meet 
the issue, as he could well do. He was 
only anxious to impress upon me that it 
did not suit his temperament— he was 
much too masculine for that. 

Life at his uncle' me would have 
been intolerable to i, who had not 

learned to bear it with the indifference of 
a stoic; for this much, at least, his asso- 
ciations with the monks had taught him— 
especially with Father Cyril. Indeed, it 
had inspired him with a fortitude when 
the crisis of his life came that was almost 
heroic. 

The mysterious silence of his uncle 

made him suspicious of his movements. 

It was most unlikely that his uncle, who, 

for some reason or other, had sent him to 

81 



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THE BROKEN TRAIL 



be educated in France, should seemingly 
acquiesce in his unexpected return, especi- 
ally when ho had not been consulted. He 
knew, too, that he had been in communica- 
tion with the monastery, for he had found 
an envelope bearing the postmark of the 
village, although the letter itself had been 
destroyed. Later, however, he inter- 
cepted one from the abbot reminding his 
uncle of the agreement made with him 
when his nephew was admitted to the in- 
stitution, and hoping that as his nephew's 
guardian he would endeavour to fulfil its 
conditions. 

What these conditions were, and his 
uncle's intentions regarding them after his 
departure from the monastery, he never 
foi . ^ out. He was inclined to think, 
ho^.Bver, that not only had his uncle made 
a present of money to the brotherhrod 
when the agreement was signed, but that 
he had also made a deed of him. It waa 

32 



A SON OP HOLLAND 



a startling discovery of his uncle's inten- 
tion towards hira, but the conciliatory atti- 
tude that he assumed as the days went by, 
and his strange silence in the matter, at 
length assuaged his fears. 

Meanwhile, the occasional visits he 
made to hit friend in Amsterdam had 
fostered in his heart a desire to go to the 
University, but, as his educational stand- 
ard was neither advanced nor liberal 
enough to allow him to take his matricula- 
tion, he resolved to take a preparatory 
course. On his return home he told his 
uncle of his desire. But as it did not 
seem a wise proposal, his uncle said that 
he would need time to think it over. He 
was gratified, however, when his uncle 
informed him that be had nade arrange- 
ments for him to go to a well-known board- 
ing-school at Rotterdam. 

It was night when they arrived there, 
and the carriage was waiting to take them 
3 33 









i 




. 


i 






h 


, .Ik 




,•! 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



to the place. They were received by two 
men at the doorway, whereupon his uncle 
left him hurriedly. He was shown to his 
bedroom, and one of the men talked with 
him for an hour or more. When he awoke 
in the morning he found he had been 
decoyed to an insane asylum. 

" The horror of it," he exclaimed, with 
the undertone of passion in his voice, 
" made me for the moment speechless. I 
sought out the man who had spoken to me 
so graciously the night before and pled 
with him to let me out, but he put me off 
saying that he would inquire into it. I 
was kept under the closest observation, 
although the warders knew that I was as 
sane as they were." 

It was evident to him that these men 
were in collusion with his uncle, and that 
so long as his uncle remained his guardian 
there was no hope of his release. How- 
ever, he persisted in his demand to be 



M 



I « 



A SON op HOLLAND 

given the privilege of proving his sanity, 
and when the opportunity came, after end- 
less disappointments, tlie mockery of the 
investigation sent him back to the ward 
in a state of absolute morbidity. 

The springs of his former strength and 
fortitude had dried up. He was no longer 
able to dispel the black cloud that was 
hanging over his mind. Words that had 
often made him brave in former days— 
and oven then he could hear Father Cyril's 
voice in those shadowy cloisters— had lost 
their buoyancy, and a nervous fear for his 
own safety seized hold of him. 

"You cannot imagine my condition," 
lie said to me, throwing out his arms 
violently, "parents dead, home gone, 
decoyed into an asylum, the victim of my 
guardian's avarice and wickedness. I 
think I can be forgiven, sir, when I tell 
you that I attempted to take my own life 
3S 



IS'' 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



» 'I 

t 



I have to thank the warder that he stopped 
me in time." 

This of course was used as evidence 
against him, and foreclosed any further 
requests for an inquiry as to his sanity. 
When he was a year there the personnel 
of the medical staff was changed, and he 
procured an interview with the superin- 
tendent, through whose efforts, three 
months later, he was given his freedom. 

Nearly fifteen months had he been in 
that living tomb — months which were 
fated to turn him out on the sea of life 
with none of the equipment necessary to 
bring him to port safely and well. For 
he had never once allowed himself to think 
of what he would do should his deliverance 
come. One thing alone he thought of, and 
in the hour when he realized it he wakened 
to the startling consciousness that he was 
wholly unfit to use it. What could a man 
do in the world with a little undigested 
M 



A BON OF HOLLAND 

philosophy and a «mattering of French 
and Latin f The question made him 
tremble between hope and doubt, for there 
was even cruelty in the new change that 
had come to him and he so unprepared. 

The words that Father Cyril so often 
spoke returned to mock him and to embit- 
ter his heart— for were they not prophetic ? 
Was it not true that the lust of gold made 
men hate each other, and the passion for 
preferment made a brother kill a brother? 
And was it not true that only within the 
sacred sanctum of a cloister could men 
reach the full fruition ,f life ? 

"I was foolish enough," he said, "to 
long for the peace and safety of the old 
French abbey, and I reproached myself 
for my ingratitude and indifference to the 
warning words that had been spoken to 
me. There was hate in my heart, too, and 
I was impatient for the day to come when 
I could take revenge on the man who had 
37 



m 





i-i 


- 


\ - 




"i 

'. 

i\ 



THE BKOKBN TRAIL 

spoiled my life." There was somethinji 
eloquent in his flashing eyes as he bent 
forward with a dramatic gesture of his 
right hand and interrupted iiimself. 
" But he is dead now, and I carry no bittei 
' oughts against him: he died shortly aftet 
that, a bankrupt, having squandered my 
money and his own. All that was left tc 
me when I came of age were a few i Jics 
of our family hi"to v. 

" I went to the Hague and entered the 
police service as a special detective, and I 
was afterward promoted to be assistant 
:ecretary to the Metropolitan Commis 
sioner. Of course, I still hoped to be able 
to make my way to the university. It was 
now over two years since I saw my friend 
at Amsterdam, so I asked leave of absence 
and remained with him for a week. For 
the first time in my life I was seized with 
a passion, of which previously I had been 
as ignorant as a child, the pure passion of 
38 



A SON OP HOLLAND 



a man for a woman, my friend's sirter. 
Uut I struggled to conceal it, and con- 
tented myself with assuring him of iny 
eternal gratitude for the visit he paid me 
to the abbey, which brought me back to the 
world before I had tims to renounce it." 

As the weelts passed he was surprised 
to realize how completely this young 
woman had entered into his life, so that 
there was naught else now that he cared 
for. This was a sudden shook to one who 
had been bom, it seemed, with a heart 
tonging after something that could never 
be sat- in this world, nor in the next. 

It was not love he was seeking for, at 
least not the love of a woman. For had he 
not been among men who either knew 
nothing of it or had renounced it? 

Study without seclusion, sympathy with- 
out sentiment, these were his ideals. So it 
was that after fruitless analysis he had 
unconsciously stumbled upon it. He won- 
39 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



if 



dered if other men were born into the 
kingdom of love with an in.pulge so sudden 
and so satisfying. But there waa one 
thing he had forgotten to reckon with in 
the first flush of Lis new-found joy, and 
when it dawned upon him it made him 
fear that he had nursed a delusion. For 
was she not the daughter of a wealthy mer- 
chant whose name wag woven into the 
political life of the Netherlands ? And he 
—what wa« he, a commissioner's clerk, 
the stigma of the asylum on his name, dis- 
franchised of the right to hia inheritance, 
with neither an education in the university 
nor a commission in the armv, that he 
should seek to unite her fortime with his 
own? 

With such thoughts as these he braved 
the intervening months until his return to 
Amsterdam at the festive season in mid- 
winter. 

At her home the elite of the city and of 

40 



'!< 



I 



A SON OP HOLLAND 



the capital had gathered to attend the con,- 
iog-of-ago feativities of her brother. She 
however, waa the focua for mo*t commem' 

T "^''■f °''' ^ " ^-^ whispered that 
Bhe would be a probable debutante at the 
next 8oa,,on'8 levee. This, doubtless, added 
. Cham and interest to her personality 

more than to any other, so that when the 
weeks rejoicings were over .he emerged 

wuhatnumphallherown. TohimW 

tTl'f.'i'^'"""*'"'"''''^''''^-'-- 
trast the diflFerence between their social 
P08.t.ons, and taunted him with the mad- 
ness of striving to claim her for himself 
^ext season she would be seen in a more 

da^-Jn^i^t, and in the briUiant dreams 
wh.ch floated before his half-closed eyes 
he saw her admired and loved by the rich 
and high-borr. who lived, for the most part, 
m the shadow of the throne. 

So he argued with himself until the 
very eve of his departure for home. The 
41 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



f S 



guests had left the house, and he was in- 
vited to go -with the family to a presenta- 
tion of " Romeo and Juliet " at the Royal 
Theatre. Breathless, impatient, struggling 
to control himself, he sat through the play. 
Stage scenery, electrical effects, the mad 
lovers, they were all real to him, for its 
blind passion had smitt«n his heart. Was 
he not Romeo, and she that sat in front of 
him, the cynosure of many eyes, was she 
not Juliet? And he, why should he not 
go with his Juliet to some place where 
human feet had never trod? Thus did he 
think without reason all the way home — 
for love never reasons. 

On the piazza, overlooking the sea, they 
two were standing watching the dull lights 
along the canal, half-hidden by the low- 
lying mist. For a little he was too ab- 
sorbed with his thoughts and the visions of 
his future and hers that the play had in- 
spired to notice the good fortune that had 



A SON OP HOLLAND 

come to him in being alone with her ^r 
such opportune circumstances. At last he 
became conscious of the long-drawn silence, 
and seemed to recollect her presence at his 
Mde His heart was beating fast, and he 
strode across to the farther side fearing 
she might discover his embarrassment. 

He glanced at her to see the expression 
on her face before he might venture to 
speak. She was standing with her head 
agamst the stone pillar, and the high collar 
of her cloak almost hid her face from his 
view. He caught the swift movement of 
her eyes as he passed, and his keen in- 
tuition, upon which he prided himself so 
much, assured him that between them 
there was sympathy at least. He glanced 
at her again as though to say something, 
when she turned around and said gravely, 
' You are thinking of returning to-mor- 
row ?" 

Yes," he answered quickly. "You 

43 






i 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



have contributed much to my happiness, 
everything indeed, since I came here. It 
makes it go difficult to go back— very dif- 
ficult." ' 

She lifted her eyes and met his in a 
manner that indicated to his quick per- 
ception what viraa passing in her mind. 
" I am glad if I have done anything to 
make you happy. I might have done 
more." 

" More ?" he replied, as he moved a step 
toward her, "you could not have been more 
to me." 

The sudden transition of the thought 
made her start and turn her head towards 
the shimmering haze in the distance. He 
noticed the changed expression on her face, 
and for a few minutes watched her in' 
silence. 

" There is nothing I wish to hide from 
you," he continued, and he grew almost 
impatient with himself at the hesitancy of 
44 




■ He moved a step toward her." 



ii n 



/V" -u- 



A SON OF HOLLAND 

his speech and the difficulty he had to in- 
terpret vocally the burning thoughts of his 
heart— "nothing which you should not 
know. I have had more miafortunes in 
my life than most men of my year»- 
parents dead, property gone, one year of 
my life spent in an asylum— enough to 
break my heart and spoil my life and make 
me hate the world. But you-you can 
make me happy, and you alone." Again 
he waited, half perplexed at her silent atti- 
tude. 

After a short pause she turned around, 
took a sharp glance at him as though about 
to speak, and, closing her eyes, covered 
them with her hand. 

"Another may bring you wealth, and 
.you are worthy of it, title, even, but not 
the love that I bring you. And only love 
creates happiness. Speak, Isobel. I have 
nothing else to offer you, nothing but my- 
self." 

46 



i 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



i 



She opened her eyes, illuminated with 
the fire that his lore had kindled in her 
heart, looked at him, her face beaming with 
joy, and threw out her arms in answer. 
It was not a moment for words. 

Next day, and an hour before his de- 
parture for home, he sought an audience 
of her father, and told him what had hap- 
pened the night before. In a moment he 
found himself separated from her by an 
absolute refusal on the father's part to con- 
sent to the betrothal of his daughter. His 
sullen, prohibitory attitude struck him 
dumb for the moment. Had the shock 
come to him even in his normal condition it 
would have been tremendous. He strug- 
gled to regain the composure and reliance 
which had characterized him in the many 
tragic situations of his life. 

" And your objection to me is — !" 

" Because you have neither position nor 
money; and, moreover, we have received 

46 



A SON OF HOLLAND 



you simply for our son's saka— that ia the 
reason for your presence here." 

" That is a hard thing to say to one who 
has done nothing to merit it. You have 
spoken in haste, and yon may think better 
about it some day. If I have neither posi- 
tion nor money left to me now I have char- 
acter, and that is worth something." 

"A commissioner's clerk," he retorted, 
with scorn in his voice, as he rose to hia 
feet. " It can never be." 
" Then what do you wish me to be ?" 
" I have no wish whatever in the matter, 
sir," he replied; "no wish whatever. It 
is impudent for you, a nondescript, to ap- 
proach me in this way. Had you been in 
a profession, or had a commission in the 
army, it might be different, but—" and he 
broke off with a quick movement of his 
arms. 

" Then I shall seek a commission in the 
army — anything for her." 

47 



i 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



" There is no u«e to speak of this, Mr. 
Wolfendon, words are useless. But I do 
not forget you are my guest meantime. 
There is only oi ' thing I ask you, that 
when you return home you will not com- 
municate with her in any way — not for eix 
months." 

Without waiting for more he bowed and 
left the room. It was natural that for a 
few minutes he should feel that he had been 
subjected to a humiliation to which no man 
could submit without sacrificing his own 
individuality. But as sacrifice is the true 
test of love, he gladly accepted -"t, feeling, 
at the same time, more and more strongly 
bound to the girl for whom the sacrifice 
was to be made. 

Six months. The longer he thought of 
it the more his gratitude increased, for her 
father was said to be one of the proudest 
and most exclusive men in Amsterdam; 
and the more fully, too, he realized that 
48 



't 



jf ^ditions her father had impoeed wer^ 
n he nature of a compromrTo T 
-;t,al attitude, and ..J.^, J^ 
achieved something akin to. triumph 
ho^T "'""'^^^o^^'y with his return 

tome however, he received a comm„n.W 
on from her father extending the dl 

W so indefinite], as to ultiLtXd" 
sf-oy his hopes of ever seeing, hi 

He stood for a littl/^ ^ '*'"°- 
^, ^""^ a "«le, trjang to minimize 

ptrhZf'^ '''"''' --^^-^'enoZ 
Bharp, stinging pain in his temples lade 

hTTr''"^^'"^'-^^^-^^ 

oTi r z'"'^*^ '"'^ ''^'=^pt'o°? Not 

once, mdeed, although once was enough to 
Bweep awa, the foundations of faith'and 
* 49 



HE BBOKEN TRAIL 



goodness, not onoe — how many times, lie 
asked himself. One — two — three — four 
timet, it seemed as if he need u .pect 
nothing else but deception and disappoint- 
ment, and as regularly as the seasons. 

Forthwith he returned to Amsterdam, 
hardly aware that he had reached her 
home, or even how he had got there. The 
sight of the piazza where a few nights be- 
fore he had plighted her love was a source 
of new strength to him, and he began to 
regain his self-possession. 

It was impossible, he assured himself 
again and again, that a love so spontaneous 
and natural could have brought about such 
a catastrephe in so short a time. So he 
stood still, satisfying himself that, so far as 
she was concerned, he had been mistaken, 
and feeling the more ahk to meet her 
father if he made the approach possible. 

How long he 5od there he did not 
know, when the sound of her father's voice. 



M 



^^^^JOy^F HOLLAND 

which he "^ognizeTrirZliT^ 

"la heaven's name, where «« 
going?" ' •"* "^ yo" 

"To your home, sir, I hope," ho tried 
to sar, courageously • « if t ™ u ,, 

'o speak wirherf:;;^'^'-'"""^^'' 

-ote^';ri;:'''''°'!°«p"*-^-'"''ti 

e yoH. No, no, u is useless to soeak 

-r''--^--A"i;TL:t 

'-^antly.asheawfhTmT-''-''^ 
the hall. ™ *" P«»« «to 

Or. the stairway she was standing, hold. 



Ij 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



ing a handkerchief to her eyes, her '.i.oe 
pale with distreea. 

" What i« it f" he aakfld. ' Tell me. If 
you will toll me what haa happened, per- 
haps-" 

She ah^^k her head in nilcnce, and the 
■trugglA ahe was making to anbdue the 
ator u in her soul checked his apeech. 

" Tell me," he repeated, as he put out 
hig hands and touched hers. " You know 
I love you. Tell me, even if it were to 
cost me my life . . . Speak, Isobel 
. ■ . you have not changed towards 
mef" 

" Oh, no, no, I love you with all my 
heart . . . but — " 

He waited breathlessly, scarcely daring 
to interpret what she had left unexpressed. 
The suspense was too great to bear. It 
almost drove him frantic. 

" But—" 

68 



A SON OP HOLLAND 



lierh«,d,'<,tisbe.tth.twepart" 
For . moment the ground reeled be- 

BO I He threw out hi« hands to the wall 
to keep hnuelf from falling. "Godbles. 
Jou,dear. If U must bt- that we part for^ 
ever then in Heaven above may He perfect 
Zr °^ ^-^^^ ^- *^« 1-t ti^e 
nto her face and staggered blindly along 
the corndor mto the darkness outside. 

As a man, struggling for life in the sea, 
'^members with frightful vividness th^ 
events of his life far back in the reml 

P«t, so m that brief and terrible moment 
when the fomadations were swept away his 
memory returned to unfold the tragic his- 
o^ of h.s short life. It were foUyTo be in 

a world mwh,ch there was no reality, and 

where aW men and women were liars. Why 

•hould he live on when everything ended in 

53 






THE BROKEN TRAIL 

the same old way? Still another vision 
from the past came before him like a grim 
spectre, mocking him to scorn and despair. 
He saw the abbey, and the little room in 
the dormitory where he slept and studied 
and received the visitations of Father 
Cyril. And, ohl how the prophetic words 
he had so often heard in the cloisters 
gnawed at his brain now with an unceasing 
pain. Almost before he knew it, he bege.i 
to idealize the life of penance and prayer 
and renunciation. But no, it was a delu- 
sion, the worship of an idea, a dream 
from beginning to end. 

The sound of the bells in the city, calling 
the faithful to prayer, sounded clear and 
strong through the frosty air. But so ab- 
sorbed was he in his thoughts that even this 
would have passed unheeded had he not 
chanced to see the shadowy outline of the 
old cathedral pinnacled against the sky. 
The vanity of men, he thought, as the 
M 



A SON OF HOLLAND 



chiming ceased— it could be nothing else 
br.t vanity that made men spend so much 
money for the perpetuation of a delusion. 
Thus it was that with one mighty stroke 
the foundations were swept away— friends, 
love, faith, heaven, all were gone, and, like 
a wandering star, he passed, aimlessly and 
purposelessly, fom darkness to darkness. 
One day, however, he found himself 
among a shipload of emigrants— blunt- 
faced Poles, heavy-eyed Jews, strong, well- 
built Swedes, Russians with salt herring 
tied up in red napkins, widi a leaven of his 
own countrymen— seeking the broad, free 
acres of the modem Mecca in the West. 

These men and women coming to us so 
different in language, customs and ideds, 
constitute one of the most serious of our 
national problems. But the initial, experi- 
mental stage has already passed, and the 
immigrants from the northern countries of 



55 



[Jl 



I i ll 



,1 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 

Europe have so readily adapted themselves 
t» our conditions, and so easily assimilated 
our ideas, that we have nowhere in the 
empire a more contented, thrifty and 
patriotic people, and none more worthy of 
the privileges of citizenship. 

On the other hand, we have to reckon 
with a very grave peril in receiving the 
ignorant and uie%ient — ^the lazzaroni 
from the slums of Southern Europe, horn 
to be seekers for a soft job, preferring to 
extort money rather than to work for it, 
and forever sowing the seeds of anarchy 
and moral degeneracy, and who breed 
crime, disease and death wherever they go. 
In the United States, though not so much 
in Canada as yet, through their Maffia and 
Camorra they have become a menace to 
the public peace and safety. 

He began to ask his senses how he got 
on board the ship, for it was all so sudden 
that he seemed to be in a stupor and could 
M 



A SON OP HOLLAND 

"°\"8*'*'^, t^Jl^He stood apart aa the 
mght was beginning to fall, gazing at the 
lights along the shore, while the vessel 
moved like a great shadow out to sea. 

A strong impulse came over him to bury 
m the deep anything that would remind 
him of the land he had left. So he hurried 
to the cabin to search his trunk, and re- 
turning to the gunwale, dropped overboard 
one Ui^ng and another, exclaiming, as the 
last light disappeared from view, "For- 
ever, forever, forever 1" 

Scarcely, however, had he set foot on 
the edge of the New World when, by a 
self-contradiction common to temperaments 
J>ke his, his memory we= restored— the 
opera house, the piazza, .he face that 
shone like a star-and it sent a fire 
through his tortured brain. Ah, he woud 

have loved her had she been bom in a 

fisherman's hut on the seacoast. Would 

God that it had been sol He was startled 

67 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



as by an apparition — so vivid did it seem 
— for had he not buried it all in the grave 
somewhere in the broad Atlantic ? 

It was madness, he knew, to give way 
to it, when only a few days before he had 
destroyed so oompletelj, so ruthlessly, so 
scornfully, everything that would be in 
any way a medium of remembrance to his 
senses. Everything — ah, the folly of it I 
There are some things in life as indestruc- 
tible as life itself, and as he realized it, 
like one suddenly awakening from a 
dream to the bitter consciousness of the 
reality, he cursed himself again and again 
for being a wretched, tormented, self-de- 
ceived man. 

What happened immediately after that 
he could not tell. Not that he had for- 
gotten, but rather that he could not trust 
him self to bear the pain that such recol- 
lections would inevitably bring. For by this 
time his fingers were moving nervously. 



58 



A SON OP HOLLAND 



(hore was a wearied look in his i-vcs, and 
the colour came and went rapidly in his 
face. Then, as if I were to assume that 
nearly a year had elapsed-just as one 
would measure time in the acts of a 
tragedy-he transferred the last scene to 
the far away Northland where he was a 
member of the North-West Mounted 
i'ohce detachment on the shores of 
the Great Slave Lake. He had drifted 
there, somehow or other, like a lone 
le.^ from the foliage of a continent, 
and for three years lay buried in the seclu- 
sion of the ice-bound and untrodden 
wastes. That was what he craved foi^ 
not the romance of adventure forever asso- 
ciated with a policeman's life at an out- 
post within the shadow of the Arctic circle 
but the primitive silence and solitude of a 
country where he would not be compeUed 
to walk in the ruts made by the feet of 
seJfish and avaricious men. 

69 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



When an Algonquin Indian is in deep 
trouble he seeks the summit of a mountain, 
or a lonely spot in some tableland, where, 
dumb and mute, he appeals to tho Great 
Spirit to be made more brave and more 
courageous. And no man, whether he be 
primitive or civilized, can fail to be 
stronger in heart and nobler in thought, 
even against his will, once he has pitched 
his tent in the wilderness. 

So it was that, gradually and uncon- 
sciously, he was brought back to a sense 
of the harmony of life and things and the 
infinite love behind all phenomena. And 
then that memorable night by the camp- 
fire in the heart of a boundless forest — it 
was that which brought him to this fateful 
hour in my study. A thought, a vision, 
came to him, swift and sure, like a light- 
ning-flash across the black horizon, and 
begat from that moment an imperishable 
hope that somehow he would yet meet her 
60 



A SON OP HOLLAND 



for whom he had hungered dumbly through 
these years. 

HiB taJe was ended. He relaxed the ten- 
sion on his body and sank back on the 
couch a little exhausted. 

He loved her— no man ever loved a 
woman more-with a true, passionate love, 
and Isobel loved him. But what of her 
father? The omission of his name 
brought me back to present consideratioEa. 
" Have you forgotten the most important 
factor in the situation, to-day as yester- 
day—her father?" I asked. 

He stared for a moment. "Dead— I 
feel he is dead!" The answer was given 
with the authority of one who had psychi- 
cal insight into the hidden things. A hard 
determined look stale over his features.' 
" If she's alive I must see her," he con- 
tinued, and rose to his feet as if anxious to 
get at the truth without delay. " And if 
she is dead, then — " 

61 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



He was silent. There was that in his 
face which could not be expressed in 
words. 

" But if she is married ?" I said, with 
some reticence, fearing that in his dis- 
turbed condition he had blinded himself to 
this alternative. 

"Married!" he cried in renewed anx- 
iety, as he turned his flashing eyes on me, 
" It is impossible I" 

He shut his eyes as if he were revolving 
in his mind the possible truth of what I 
had enunciated, then drawing his hand 
across his brow, he burst out in strong, 
clear tones: "I pray God to spare me 
that." 

" Then you are going back to Folland ? 

It is very wonderful — a modem Ulysses 

— but how do you intend to get there ?" 

" By my feet," was the laconic answer. 

I could harr'ly suppress a laugh at the 

obvious ambiguity, and almost unawares 

62 



^ A SON OF HOLLAND 

I realized I was looking at them Bomewhat 
ourionaly. 

" You propose to walk across a con- 
tinent. And there is the ocean, too. Why, 
«r, I hope you have counted the cost ?" 

He shook his head with the indifference 
of a man whose mind is already too pre- 
occupied with a great thought to think of 
anything trivial. 

For some minutes neither of us spoke. 
I felt I could not let him go from my study 
on a journey fraught with so much danger 
at that time of the year without unfolding 
to him some eventualities that might arise 
So I began, cautiously, indeed, and yet 
determined to state the poesibiUties of the 
case as strongly as possible. 

"You are aware, I hope, that you are 
just as liable to be frozen to death in the 
attempt, even to reach Winnipeg, as if ,«, 
were making a dash for the ^o.<A Pole? 
It seems to me to be sheer folly to stake 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



your life on euch dender chanoea, and all 
the odds against you. JuBt think, sir—" 
" Perhaps so," he interrupted in dismay 
— " perhaps so, but I dare not think of it." 
He raised his hand to his throbbing tem 
pies and looked wistfully out at the 
window. 

" I am sorry that my words hare caused 
you pain. But I do not wish to ignore the 
facts for the sake of sentiment." 

It was useless to speak further. He was 
willing to stake his all on one throw of the 
dice, like a man who, having lost his last 
cent, takes the jewelled pin from his scarf 
and the ring from his finger and throws 
them down on the green table. 

"What can I do for you then, Mr. 
Wolfendonf" 

He sat down and took a letter from his 
pocket. " Would you write to her — ^just a 
few words? Tell her you have seen me, 
and that I have kept my faith." 

64 



A SON OP HOLLAND 



He tore open the envelope and road the 
writing to me. 

" This," he continued, " is what I wrote 
after church on Sunday evening— the first 
in four yeari. Will you aend your* with 
itf" 

" This is a somewhat delicate matter," 
I replied, wondering for a minute how to 
meet the situation; " but I believe in your 
sincerity and moral earnestness. Come 
back in an hour or two and I shall have a 
letter ready for yon." 

When he returned in the afternoon I 
read it to him and sealed the envelope. 
He leaned back on the couch and looked 
at it intently. Then hie eyes grew moist, 
and, as he spoke, his voice quivered. 
" Now I can go back to Holland with some 
hope. I am sorry I have given you so 
much trouble, but I am very, very grate- 
ful." 

He wrapped my letter with his own in a 
» 65 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



!i 



piece of white paper and put them into bis 
pocket, then roro to hia feet. "I ahall 
rtart for Winnipeg at once," he aaid. 
" The Dutch Consul waa a friend of my 
father"*. He may help me to reach New 
York, then it will be easy to get to Hol- 
land." 

I felt as if I were parting with a friend 
whom I had knowii for years and years. 
His was the faithfulness and heroism of a 
man of strong purpose and pure desire. 
The soft light of the winter's afternoon, 
streaming through the colored glass, threw 
around his broad shoulders a mantle of 
gold and emerald. A strange new fervor 
glowed in his eyes, and in an instant he 
was changed. No— not he. It wa« I who 
saw with dearer vision. The strangeness 
and mysticism that surrounded his person- 
ality on Christmas eve were gone. 

" Good-bye, sir," he said, grasping my 
hand firmly, "I must go." He faltered 

66 



A SON OP HOLLAND 

for a moment and bowed his hcmll^y. 
Lite ha. been hard for me, an.I the fate, 
have not been kind. Porha, ,.o_v 

"No, no not fate, mv l.rother; it i« 
God who rules; nothing ...n.^ i,,. ,h.,noo 

Good-bye," he «aid, a^-ain rr«s..,. ,ny 
hand m h.8, and the moisturo ^„( ;„ hi. 
«ye8. " It seems so hard to sprak ' 

"It seems so," I answered, for he had 
jnst uttered what was in my mind-not l.e- 
cause there was nothing to express, b,,t 
because the expression could not bo found. 
But this I can say, Wilbur-take Christ 
^thyou. He is the young man's friend. 
He was a young man Himself. He died 
when He was thirty-three." He drew 
away his hand and tried hard to master the 

Wilbur, take Him with you " 
He held out his hand and there was a 
strangely earnest look on his noble face. 
I know, I know," he repeated, in broken 
67 



m 



■\\ 



l:\ 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 

accents ; " I am satisfied." Over his little 
world the light was breaking. He had seen 
the star. 

" Good-bye, my friend, good-bye. Be 
then faithful unto death. And in the 
words of Shelley — 

'The one remains; the many change and pass; 
Heaven's light forever shines. 
Earth's shadows fly. 

Time, like a dome ot many-coloured glass. 
Stains the white radiance uf eternity.' " 

He passed out and was gone. It w-»s 
all like a dream. For the nonce a strange 
sickness came over my soul. I was like 
one wandering in a dark place. Life and 
its problems visualized before me, un- 
changed and unsolved, as in the old days 
when we talked together, Henry and I, in 
the bird-haunted walks of Cobourg town. 
Henry — he is gone 

" Where there Is no more snow, and no wander- 
ing feet — and no dark." 

«8 



A SON OP HOLLAND 



Ah, me! I know it now; in the after- 
light. There is no illusion at all. It is all 
reality — the glorious consciousness of the 
reality when the dream is over. " We rest 
on the infinite bosom of God; we dream 
that all is wrong, to wake and find that all 
is right." It is Christ himself who comes 
to me and puts His hand upon my heart, 
unlocks the door, and solves the problem. 

" So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still 
Will lAad me on 
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, tlU 
The night Is gone." 

While I was thus soliloquizing, a note 
with the headline of the Arlington Hotel 
was handed in: 

Calgabt, December 26th, IMS. 
" Dear Sir:— 

"Within a few hours I will start for my long 
walk to Winnipeg. Most likely I will never 
have the pleasure of seeing you again. 

" In connection with my interview to^ay. I 
beg of you to accept the gratitude I feel towards 
you. I also wish to convey to you my regret 
69 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



*■ > 



11 



for having troubled you so much. I bee you to 
lorglve me. 

" I hare prayed the Lord Almighty to itand 
by me In my struggles, to save and guard the 
happiness o( one for whom I would be willing 
to die. 

" Thanking you once more for your kindness, 
through which you have made me your debtor, 
I remain, 

" Sincerely yours, 

"Wnjnm Wolfihdob." 

The weeks went by, and many times I 
thought of tlie brave young Hollander on 
his long walk eastward. Meanwhile, a 
cold wave came over the West, and the 
thermometer fell to thirty degrees below 
zero. Would Wilbur ever reach Winni- 
peg? Every day I scanned the news- 
papers, fearful lest a man bearing his 
name had been frozen to death on the 
track. 

Three weeks, and the cold spell was 
broken by the warm, sweet days that be- 
tokened the approach of spring, for 
70 



A SON OP HOLLAND 



spring comes early to the West. Hope 
grew in my heart for my friend's safety 
and ultimate triumph. 

In the meantime word eame from 
Amsterdam-from Isobel-and there was 
a note for Wilbur enclosed with it. 
Wilbur-what would he say now? Oh 
the triumph of We!-the words burst 
spontaneously upon my heart. 

Her father was dead-how strange that 
he should have felt this that night by the 
camp-flre-her brother was married at the 
Hague, and she, in the old home in Amster- 
dam, was pining her life away. 

"Send him back to me. I may not have 
long to live. Only give me the joy of 

seeing him again. Tell him he must come 
quickly." 

I wrote at once to the Dutch Consul in 
Winnipeg, craving him to make inquiries 
without delay, for there was no time to 
71 



: 1 



THE BBOEEN TRAIL 






lose. The tragic pathos and urgency of 
her letter demanded immediate action. 

Delay ensued— days, weeks of unbear- 
able suspense and silence— and the chagrin 
of disappointment was piercing my soul 
like a sharp sword. Could it be that death, 
and not love, had triumphed ? 

It was at that moment— so beautifully 
expressed by Watts' in his immortal pic- 
ture in the National Gallery— when man 
is always saying farewell, and yet hope 
forever lingers, that a letter came from 
Wilbur Wolfendon in his own handwriting 
He had reached Winnipeg. He could not 
chronicle all he had endured, those eight 
hundred miles over snow and ice. But 
amid all the experiences of that memorable 
joumoy he never lost heart. Had I heard 
from Isobel? 

The story of the young HoUander who 
was walking across a continent to meet his 
love appeared in the press, although the 
72 




li.Slu hu„dr«<l n.ile. across a conlnunt iS win a hri.fe 



!!■ 



r i 






jb^m^ 



A SON OF HOLLAND 



det«ls differed somewhat from thoee r,. 
lated in my rtudy. It enlisted the sym- 
pathy and interest of the citizens of that 
city, and money was imanediately sub- 
ser^d. ^enable him to finish his ionmey 

I sent him a brief message, enclosing 
iBobel's letter, and a few words expressing 
my admiration for his herx>ism, and Z 
aseuranee that he would some day come to 
u's own. 

In her home in the old cathedral town 
by the grey sea, Isobel awaited the hour of 
her lorer's homecoming. From her bed- 
room window at night she could see the 
ghmmer of the lights far out at sea, and 
hear the cries of the wild sea-mew, making 
the more weird and desolate her little 
emptyworld. Through these hungry yea™ 
he coud never look at the stars sending 
their silvery shafts into the dark wavl^ 

78 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



without a flood of teara. For they u»_^ 
to point the way to some lone land beyoft^ 
where all her '"irht and fullaeia lay. Bat 
it wajs difFereui now. 

laobel kclc in her hands the oaMegrara 
that he sent her, and repeated the word* 
to herself, half-.s)eaking, half-chanting, 
" Sailing at once. Live for me." 

He was coming back to hei^— to home. 
And summer was coming, too. Oh, what 
joy was hers ! She would meet him when 
the birds were singing and the lawn and 
the hedgeways were ablaze with scarlet and 
gold. A sweet spirit brooded over her 
dreams. A new hope filled her soul. She 
would live, please God, and they would 
work together through the years — for 
there waa much to do—Wilbur and she. 



74 



THE DESPERADO 



/ bear a charmed life. 

— Shakespeare. 

The more we see of events, the less we 
come to believe in any fate or destiny ex- 
cept character. 

— Phillips Brooks. 

Here's the smell of blood still; all the 
perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this 
little hand. 

— Shakespeare. 

Every one is the son of his own works. 
— Cervantes. 

We find in life exactly what we put into 
tt. 

— Emerson. 



78 






THE DESPERADO 

I'he court-room was crowded. The 
trig] for murder, which had lasted geveral 
days wa« now doein^. The prisoner 
watched the proceeding,, of tho o,,so with 
apparent interest, and laughed at 'imes 
when his rounscl engaged in repartee or 
witticism. 

He was yrnngso young to be on trial 
for his life. Vs I saw hin, f„r the first 
time, with his deep-set eyos fi .ed for the 
most part on the man who would ultimately 
pronoimce his d.,om or deliverance, and his 
arms resting on the edge of the dock, he 
«emned to be in his teens; such a youth, 
indeed, as one would expect to find on the 
farm, dreaming the dreams of youth, and 
with never a care nor sorrow. He was 
of medium height, and carried his head 
well, although his .houldew, were rounded 
and drooped somewhat. His eyes were 
grey and keen, but without expression; his 
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^7L 165J East Moln Street 

^^ RochBsler. Ne* York 14609 USA 

■■^gg (7'6) *82 - 0500 - Phone 

^S (^16) 2B8- 5989 ^ Fan 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



I I 



IJ 



features were small and regular; his hair 
was dark and unkempt; he was dressed in 
shabby black. 

For the first time since his arraignment, 
he showed signs of nervousness as the 
judge began to address the jury. He bit 
his lower lip and a quiver of fear passed 
over him. His face, hitherto pale and 
rigid, coloured deeply, and his head 
dropped on his chest. As the last words in 
a chain of damaging evidence were spoken, 
the colour passed away, and a pallor, dead- 
lier than before, revealed the tumult of hia 
soul within. 

The prisoner threw his head backward 
and rolled his eyes from right to left. It 
was a terrible moment. He seemed to be 
struggling with rising hysteria. Every 
muscle was drawn into tension. A gloom 
settled on his face, and deep furrows ap- 
peared on his forehead, as if ploughed by a 

78 



TEE) DESPERADO 



But it was only for a 



sickening pain, 
moment. 

Thirty-five minutes later the jury re- 
turned to give their verdict. A silence, so 
dead that a pinfall could have been heard, 
fell on the gaping crowd. A r.iinute iater 
the prisoner followed with quick and 
steady step and took his seat in the dock. 
With piercing eye he scanned deliberately 
each member of the jury, and with an 
audible sigh he gripped the side of the box 
and sat down. 

" Gentlemen of the jury, state through 
your foreman if you have arrived at a ver- 
dict." 

" We have." 

"Do you find the prisoner at the bar 
guilty or not guilty?" 

" Guilty, sir," was the quiet answer. 

The silence that followed was more 
potent than the speech. The prisoner 
straightened himself up in an almost in- 
79 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



I" i 



different attitude, and passed his hand 
slowly over his forehead. Another minute 
of silence deeper than before, and the 
judge in solemn tones of quiet authority 
said, 

" Stand up." 

For the moment his lips trembled more 
than once, but he maintained the same sad 
composure. 

" How old are you ?" 

" Twenty-one, sir," he replied, in a firm 
voice. 

" Where were you bom V 

" Kansas, sir." 

" Are you married or unmarried V 

" Unmarried, sir." 

" Are you temperate or intemperate 1" 

" Intemperate, sir." 

"What did you say?" 

" Intemperate, sir." 

"Have you anything to say why sen- 
tence should not be passed upon you ?" 
80 



iil 



THE DESPERADO 



" Nothing," he answered quietly and un- 
hesitatingly ; "only I ain't guilty." 

The judge told the prisoner that he had 
been accorded a fair and impartial trial, 
and he could not see how with the evidence 
before them the jury could have reached 
any other conclusion than they had. Be- 
sides, the prisoner had shown by his treat- 
ment of people who had given him every 
kindness that he was capable of any crime, 
and had committed many. " It only re- 
mains for me," he continued in alow, 
steady tones, "to confer upon yon the 
penalty which the law prescribes, and that 
is, that you be taken from here to the jail 
whence you came, and on December the 
fifteenth you are to be hanged by the neck 
until you are dead— and may God have 
mercy on your soul." 

The prisoner bowed and sat down. 
There was not a trace of emotion visible. 
Deeper and deeper sank the silence. He 
* 81 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



arose impassively and held out his hands to 
be bound with irons. Then with quickened 
and measured step he passed out to his 
doom. 

A pang of unutterable sorrow swept over 
me. Doomed to die, and he so young! 
The strange stillness that brooded over that 
autumn afternoon seemed to make his ap- 
proaching death the more ghastly and ap- 
palling. In her home one hundred miles 
away was his mother, bowed down to the 
grave. I hurried out of the court-room 
into the street below, just in time to see the 
prisoner mounting the double-seated car- 
riage, guarded on the right and the left. 

It was now six o'clock. Without a mo- 
ment's delay I hastened to the place of con- 
finement, in the hope that I might be of 
some service to him in an hour that he 
needed it most. The entrance lay through 
a wicket-gate, where I presented my cre- 
dentials. I was then admitted to the 



THE DESPERADO 



guard-room, in the centra of which was the 
prisoner's cell 

It was dark, quite dark, in that small 
■n>n-barred cage. The guard^for there 
were two of them outside-watched my 
approach m silence. 

"I have come to see you, sir," I said, 
stretchmg my hand through the bars. 

Perhaps I can be of some help and com- 
lort to you." 

He shook hands heartily and stepped 
l^ckapaceortwo. " Glad you've come to 
see me," he replied, in brusque, guttural 

tones, and with a somewhat indifferVnt air 
There was a peculiar emphasis and in- 
flexion on the personal pronoun 

t„ '7C 'Z T '°*° '^'' ^'*'-'^' -^o" l=»ow, 
to make hfe less difficult for each other." 

88 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 

He was silent. 

" You know," I continued, " your posi- 
tion is very serious. iTnve you had any 
chance in life ?" 

He gripped the iron bar with his right 
hand as if trying to suppress for a moment 
a risixig emotion. He looked up at me and 
a shadow leemed to creep over his face. 
There wai lain in his eyes. 

" Yes," he began, falteringly, " I've had 
a pood chance, sir, and a good mother, too." 

" We all owe much to mother," I said. 
" Some of us owe everything. Where did 
you get off the track ?" 

" When I wanted to be my own boss and 
have my own way." 

" How old were you when you left 
home?" 

" I was just fourteen. I was brought 
up iu my early boyhood to go to Sunday- 
school and church, and when I was four- 



In 



THE DESPERADO 



teen I ran away from home, and I've been 

running away ever since." 
Then followed the atoty of the inter- 

venmg years, told in Western dialect, and 

of his first imprisonment, for a paltry 
offence, with thugs and thieves in the State 
of Illinois, where he received his first im- 
petus to a wild and criminal life in the 
farther West. 

I qu'^tioned him closely as to how much 
he knew of life when he left home. He 
was a boy just like other boys of his 
age, with new surprises bursting daily 
upon his awakening consciousness, making 
him unsteady and mercurial like the fitful 
Bhadows that chase themselves across the 
sea. And I do not hesitate to assert that 

£mest would never have had the 

sentence of death passed upon him had he 
not been incarcerated in a prison at fifteen. 
That a youth should have been mado a 
criminal, rather than a citizen, by being 
8S 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



immured in a common jail, is surely a ter- 
rible indictment of the present penal 
system. 

Immediately after his release he joined 
a gang of deeperadod, some of whom had 
1 ^n his associates during his imprison- 
ment. For six years they roamed the 
Western States, a band of outlaws, holding 
up people at the point of the revolver, and 
all the while living, as he said, a charmed 
life. 

Along the corridors the prisoners, with 
their faces against the bars, were straining 
their necks to catch the tale of his aa, n- 
tures. He spoke with as much composure 
as if we were sitting around a camp-fire 
at an evening meal. Could it be thut even 
at this moment he was thinking he might 
again escape the penalty of his crime? 
Had he not broken jail before? Had he 
not evtded the posse a hundred times, even 
vrhen he felt their hot breath on his cheek ? 



86 



THE DESPERADO 

"And you never ona thought that de- 
feat would come to you gome day f» 

"Defeat?" he replied, with an air of 
bravado. "We fellow, never buck .t 
nothing." 

A grim smile came over the facea of the 
guards, aa if to remind him that he vaa 
now under a much etricter surveillance 
He cast a swift glance at them from under 
h:i eyebrows, and sat down on the bench 
at the end of the cell. Just at that moment 
lus brother appeared in the guard-room, 
and the cheerful manner in which they 
greeted each other struck me with astonish- 
ment. 

The brother was a little taller and some- 
what older, and might be d.stinguished 
from Ernest by his quiet and unobtrusive 
demeanor. For some years he had been 
m the service of the United States Gov- 
ernment, and had arrived just in time to 
hear the judge give the charge to the jury. 
87 






THE BROKEN TRAIL 



They itood to cloaely ogainat the bar* 
that their lips almost touched. For a few 
minutes they conversed under their breath, 
and although I had gone back but a few 
feet, I did not hear a syllable. Occasion- 
ally I thought I saw on Ernest's face a 
pained and anxious expression. He was 
listening, almost straining to hear, and the 
movement of his brother's lips indicated 
serious and rapid speech. 

I stepped forward to say good night. 
The brother, his face more coloured than 
when he entered, took a firm grip of my 
hand and exDre: "od his thanks for the visit. 

During ti«e laur weeks that followed I 
saw the condenmed man almost daily. At 
no time did he ever show a sign of grief or 
despondency. Indeed, as the days went by 
he grew more indifferent to the serious- 
ness of his position, and would chat with 
much pride about his escapades on the 
great plains of the Western States. 
88 



THr DESPERADO 



Mo«.wh.e, hi, lawyer had applied fo. 
the s,„ of a new trial, and ultimate - 
"•ent to Ottawa to make personal J 
-tat.o.« to the department of ju,tioe' 

ihe prisoner never ceased to reiterate 

It f ^' ."'' " ""^ '-' -" J t 
fr!^f''';f'o-P-s -confidence in the 

freedom '.that moment it seemed as if 

-o-in.t^aL;;n;:.:;tr 

something almost heroic . th« „„. 

^i*^. which he endured .elur.n 
-tmg when life was measured out bv 

S "' *'^ ^'"'•"^ ^- "'-'ly on the 

found him more edited than usual. He 
was in a corner of the cell, with his head 
resting on his right hand. In the other 

conierwasthedeath-watob,andlsatdown 
89 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



bttween them. He showed very little in- 
terest in my coming, and would sometimes 
walk up and down at a short and rapid 
pace. For a while I was impressed with 
the thought that the hope he had cherished 
had been shattered at last, and yet I had a 
strange intuition — the more, too, as I 
watched the changing aspect of his face 
and the strained and sullen expression of 
his eyes — ^that some new situation had 
arisen, so secret and so absorbing as to pre- 
clude even the common courtesies which he 
had extended to me at other times. 

Half an hour later his brother came in, 
and putting his hands high up on the bars, 
spoke to him many cheering words. 

" Any message from Ottawa ?" I said to 
him. 

" No," he replied, " but I am sure we 
will hear of a new trial any minute." 

It was five o'clock when I left the oeU, 
and following me came the death-watch, 

90 



hi,, 



THE DESPERADO 

stable already waiting outeide. This 
2"\ of course, that the attention of the 
other two guards was diverted for a II 

orrv'^'^^-p^^''"«-''-i^^e 

^' Cheer up. old boy, there's sure to be 
good news to-night from Ottawa " 

vltZ T '"" ^'"^''"^ '» *^« «--e 

position, their arms high above their heads 

ouchmg the hars, and talking in low deep 

tones, when the door closed Lind me ' 

ay this time, as it was getting dark, the 

guards t,r„ed on the lights and begaL to 
^-h their duties prior to the arrival of 
the night-guard. 

At six o'clock, as was the custom, the 
officer in charge ordered the prisoner t; the 
adjoining room. He walked out, accom 

bench ,n front of a barr^ window fac^ig 
91 



i 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



the street, while the third constable re- 
mained in the outer guard-room. There- 
upon the officer entered the cell, and, being 
satisfied that nothing had been left during 
the day, came to the door and said to the 
prisoner peremptorily, " All right." 

Immediately the prisoner walked to- 
wards the door, and then stepped back, as 
if to allow the officer to pass out. As he 
did so he tume^ round quickly and flashed 
two revolvers in the faces of the two men. 
" Make no move, or I'll blow your brains 
outl" 

There was a calmness and deliberation 
about his attitude that made the threat the 
more startling. He took three steps back- 
wards and got the constable in the outer 
guard-room in line with the weapon in his 
left hand. 

" Throw down your arms," he shouted, 
" and make no move toward that alarm 
bell; I'm a desperate man!" 

n 







•'Th,uvv<|,nvn your arn-,,," he slmu.cd 
clfsperatu man." ' 



*' I'm a 

Page i^j. 



\i 



THE DESPERADO 



Then he ordered the three men into his 
cell, and demanded the revolvers and 
cartridge belts which two of them carried. 
Securing these, he locked the cell door 
and walked in his heavy shackles to the 
place where the keys were kept, and un- 
fastened his feet. 

His face was white as deatk " I'm a 
desperate man fighting for my life," he 
said, " and nothing is going to stop me." 

He went up to the cell and, taunting the 
imprisoned guards, kissed his hand to 
tnem. « Good-bye, boys," he said, in a 
hght-hearted manner, "there's a horse 
waiting for me outside." 

All this took but a few moments, and so 
perfectly had his plans worked out, that be- 
fore the arrival of the night-guards he had 
a lead of fifteen minutes in his race for 
life. 

The news travelled from lip to lip, and 
m less than two hours the whole country 
98 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 

was thrown into a state of panic. Without 
a moment's delay every man on the police 
force turned out mounted, and patrols were 
stationed at all bridges and trails leading 
from the city. 

" Where was his brother ?" people asked, 
" and xaa not the Methodist minister the 
last man in the cell with him ?" Thus they 
talked in their excitement, and thus they 
debated. Ten minutes later his brother 
was arrested and charged witi assisting 
him to escape. He had in his pocket a pair 
of oil-skin moccasins, which he said he was 
taking to the barracks, and in his other 
pocket some heavy calibre cartridges. On 
this charge he was afterwards brought up 
for trial, and the jury returned a verdict 
of guilty, to which they attached a strong 
recommendation for mercy. 

The difBculty of tracing the fugitive was 
increased by a h' .vy snowstorm which had 
covered up his footprints about the hour of 
94 



THE DESPERADO 

the escape. Every possible clue was fol- 
lowed up, and trains and conveyances leav- 
mg the city were minutely inspected by 
armed men in plain clothes. 

Late that night he called at a rancher's 
home seven miles away, and asked shelter 
for the night. The rancher, seeing his piti- 
ful condition, and as the night was cold 
and stormy, took him into his kitchen and 
gave him food and clothing. 

During the absence of the rancher the 
next day, he returned to the place and took 
away, among other things, a suit of clothes 
and a military cloak. 

About this time it was reported in town 
tiiat a pony and saddle had been stolen 
The day following the pony was seen mak- 
ing Its way to the stable. The police 
traced its footmarks to a home sixteen miles 
out belonging to a respectable and well- 
known rancher. They inquired if the mur- 



98 




I !! 



derer had been there, and being assured 
that no ( e had seen him, they denarted. 
However, it was proved beyond doubt that 
at that very moment he was hiding in a 
room upstairs. 

It must be said, that about this timo, 
there appeared in the press the account of a 
desperado in th.^ State of Washington who 
had shot down p^ple in cold blood for giv- 
ing information to his pursuers regarding 
his whereabouts. This, no doubt, together 
with the threat he made when he entered, 
80 terrified them that they were afraid 
under penalty of their lives to reveal his 
location. He had said: " Don't think I'm 
alone. I have my friends watching this 
house, and if you tell the police you will 
be shot down. I give you warning." 

Indeed, as his desperate condition be- 
came recognized it haunted the whole com- 
munity liVj a nightmare, and ranchers 
96 



f 



THE DESPERADO 

living in the outlying parts dewrtcd their 
homes and came into the city. 

Repoi-tg of people being held up in their 
homes gradually leaked out and were 
uroally accredited. But in every oaw the 
information came too late to be of any ser- 
vice in locating hie whereabouts. 

Never was a community so terrorized 
into secrecy by m outlaw. A threatening 
letter, written by him on the notepaper of 
a local hotel, was posted to the foreman of 
the jury who had found him guilty of 
murder. Women became almost hygteri- 
cal, and were even afraid to go from room 
to room in their homes when night fell. 
That he had visited the city under cover of 
darkness few doubted. This, at least, was 
certain, that fo. five weeks he was at no 
time out of sight of the place where the 
brother was confined, and from which 
he himself had made his memorable dash 
7 97 



"r»T!! 



m 



i' 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 

for liberty in the very shadow of the scaf- 
fold. 

The police, go long baffled in their at- 
tempts to follow his movementa, at last de- 
termined +.0 surround the city with a 
cordon of mounted men. At this time the 
total strength of the local Royal North- 
West Mounted Police force numbered 
about fifteen, so that in order to carry out 
the plans eiTectively thirty men were sworn 
in for special service. 

On Sunday morning, exactly forty- 
five days from the date of the escape, the 
police were all assembled in front of the 
barracks and divided into five groups. 
Each group was placed in command of an 
officer and apportioned to a particular 
section of the district. 

It was one of those days that so often 
come to the West at this season of the 
year. The wind was blowing cold and 
strong from the north, and the ther- 

98 



THE DESPERADO 

moraeter had ilreadj fallen twenty-five 
'legreei below freezing point. 

At nine o'clock the p.,liep „.t nnf, oare- 
fulljr inspecting every nook and comer 
likely to afford him a hiding-place. It ig 
told of a brave member of one party who 
set out that morning, that one day, on the 
outskirtg of the city, while he was March- 
■ng a coop full of fine Plymouth Rock 
heng, a goose suddenly squawked with a 
very loud voice. The brave young rifle- 
man ran for shelter into the bam opposite, 
ail the while unconscious that behind the 

door was the very man he had set out to 
nndl 

The detachment which went in a north- 
easterly direction came upon two hou.es 
w.h,„ g,ght „f ,,^^ ^^^^^_ ^^^^ ^^^ 

miles from the city. The force then 
divided and began to seareh both hoi.aes 
simultaneously. From the farther house 
a nder came galloping at fuU speed to 
99 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 

report tLat he had found in a hardtack a 
large hole containing food and bedding 
and a military '■'oak which corresponded 
to the one that I i been atolen on the night 
of the escape. 

Immediately it \ i* concluded that they 
had tracked the murderer to the very door, 
although the two men living there denied 
any knowledge of his whereabouts. In- 
deed, there were Indications that he 1 ^d 
hurriedly taken refuge in the house on the 
first approach of the police. instable 

entered and went down into ) cellar, 
when he discovered in a come a hole 
large enough to accomnodate a man. It 
was so dark that nothing could be seen, 
and after pp..^ uring a lantern he returned 
holding it in ^ /ant of him. 

" Here's where the must be," be 

said, when he almost dashed the lantern 
into the face of a man. He jumped back 
hurriedly and coJied his revolver. 
100 



m 



THE DESPERADO 



Who .re you calling , f» , ^^j^ 

died out Mgrily. „d gr ag the con- 
•table. ew whi«ed . bullet .nd atUl «.- 
other. The con.t.Ue retried hi. .tep. u 
iuickly u pcible, Md following him 
o»me the fugitive, who fired » .hot .t the 
guard ouUide. They returned the fire 
with twelve .hoto from their cw-bine., one 
of which rtruck hi. heel, whereupon he 
retreated to the cellar. 

It wa« decided to set the houM on fire 
for which purpoM a bundle of hay was 
placed on either gide. The po«» grad- 
ually closed r,.und on .11 .ide., and with 
the butt of their ufle. .maehed the 
windows, as these were a menace to their 
own safety. By this time the fire was in- 
ereasmg, and dense clouds of smoke almost 
hid the house from view. When the 
flames were well under way another shot 
carae from the cellar, 

"My QodI" cried the Inspector, "the 
101 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



it' I 



man has committed suicide." But sus- 
pecting that it might only be an attempt 
to inveigle him into a trap he shouted, " If 
you are down there you had better come 
out." 

" If I come out you will shoot me." 
Much parleying ensued, and although 
the Inspector gave him his word of honour 
again and again that he would not be shot, 
still he refused to believe him. 

" If I come up," he shouted again, " I 
will be hanged anyway." 

" Your brother," the Inspector replied, 
" is in the guard-room. The least you can 
do is to say good-bye to him." 
The fire was now beyond controL 
" Boys," he called from the cellar, " I'm 
going to kill myself. You will find a 
letter on the floor to my mother. Come 
and get it before it is burned, and for 
God's sake put out the fire. I don't want 
to be roasted alive." 

102 



i Ik 







< 



THE DESPERADO 



" You have only a minute or two left 
to make your decision." 

"Promise you won't shoot me, and I 
will come up." A minute later he ap- 
peared with his hands over his head. 
" Boys, I don't want to be hanged," he 
said, " and I don't want to kill any of 
you, but I guess I'll have to give myself 
up. I'm sick of the whole business." 

He spoke freely to the members of the 
posse he knew, and expressed regret that 
one of the guards from whom he had 
escaped was sentenced to a year in the 
penitentiary. 

" Boys, I'm sorry i: waa such a coward 

when B came down the cellar. I 

thought 1. t was a civilian, and I'm sorry 
I did not take a piece out of his ear the 
same as he took out of my boot. I could 
have got away any time. It was dead 
easy. I jumped on the train two or three 
times as it was pulling up the grade near 
103 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



Sheppard, but I jumped off agair. Any- 
body can get on or off there. I stayed in 
the country for the sake of my brother. I 
couldn't go away and leave him. So I 
stayed around to help him out." 

" Are you a good shot ?" some one asked. 
" I don't say it as a boast, boys, bi^i you 
can bet I am. I once shot a horse on a run 
at a thousand yards, and I can shoot holes 
in a fifty-cent piece tiirown in the air." 
He spoke very affectionately of his mother 
and brother, as he had never failed to do 
during his previous confinement 

When the news of the capture became 
known the city was thrown into the wild- 
est excitement. Everywhere thei« was the 
greatest admiration for the men who had 
effected the capture of the desperado, and 
without shedding of blood. 

The heroic service rendered Canada by 
the men who guarded her frontiers in the 
West in the wild days now gone, and pre- 
104 



THE DESPERADO 

served the safety of human life and 
property, has not yet been sufficiently 
recognized. This we may be sure of, that 
no history of the Canadian West wiU ever 
be complete without a prominent place 
given to the records of those men who, in 
the pioneer days, suffered isolation far 
out on the lonely plains, and held the 
supremacy of British law and order 
against the freebooters, whiskey smugglers 
and outlaws that crossed the border. It 
seems almost incredible that a mere hand- 
ful of men should have accomplished so 
much in such a short time, and in a terri- 
tory almost as large as Europe. That the 
Canadian West differs greatly in the con- 
ditions of life to-day from the West of the 
republic to the south is largely due to the 
work of the Royal North-West Mounted 
Police. 

In the barracks, the brother about to be 
removed to Regina, overheard the guards 
105 



THE BBOEEN TRAIL 



whispering of the capture to each other. 
He broke down completely, and all through 
the night cried like a child. Ever since 
his arrest he was more interested in his 
brother's welfare than in his own. When- 
ever there was the least stir round about 
he would grow anxious and ask the guard 
on duty if his brpther had been captured. 
Through the iron bars of the door he 
watched in vain hour after hour to catch 
a glimpse of him as he passed by. 

Next day, shackled, handcufied and 
guarded by five policemen, Ernest stood in 
the same dock from which six weeks before 
he had been sent to his doom. When he 
arose at the order of the court the judge 
said, " You are given a reprieve from the 
sentence of the court from to-morrow until 
a week from to-morrow, and the sentence of 
this court is that you be taken back whence 
you came, and on that date hanged by the 

106 



Mi 



TRj; DESPERADO 



neck until you are dead, and may God 
have mercy on your soul." 

The respite came as a great surprise to 
h>m, since he expected that on the morrow 
he would be led to the gallows. For a 
moment the cloud that rested on his face 
passed away. Outside the crowd that had 
filled the court-room from early morning 
was waiting on the sidewalk. The 
doomed man appeared, chained so heavily 
that he could walk only six inches to a 
step. He poised his head high in the air, 
and never once cast a glance to right or 
left. His hair was matted and very long, 
and a thin beard covered the side of his 
face. He was fatter than when I saw him 
last in prison, and his cheeks, hitherto so 
pallid, glowed with a dark red color. He 
wore light brown moccasins, and over his 
shoulders, thrown well back, was the mili- 
tary cloak, now abnost threadbare. 
Every precaution was taken by the 
107 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 

"^ - ■ 

police to prevent a recurrence of the hold- 
up. Five men were on duty in the guard- 
house continually, while a sentry waa 
placed outside. 

For the first time the oondemned man 
now realized that every avenue of hope 
was closed to him. To the death-watch he 
related the stoiy pf the six weeks without 
the vanity that characterized the recital of 
his exploits before the escape. 

" I had," he said, " a bead on Inspector 

D when that officer pushed his rifle 

through the window. I could have turned 
round and shot the man at the other 
window. I was standing in the darkness 
of the cellar, and it was quite easy for me 
to see the officers without being seen my- 
self. But I did not wish to shoot anybody, 
for I had already enough on my head." 

From this time on he never more re- 
ferred to his past except on the eve of his 
execution, when he hand- ' ne a synopsis 
108 



THE DESPERADO 



of his life. He settled down to the seri- 
ousness of his position. Occasionally he 
would ask questions regarding some spir- 
itual truths he had learned in his child- 
hood. He had on!y a vague and misty 
conception of them after these years. A 
strain from a hymn that his mother sang, 
or a word from a prayer that she had 
taught him in these old daya-that was all 
he could remember. Oh, the blighting 
curse of sin I 

His brother was allowed to see him for 
a few minutes before being taken to 
Regina to serve his sentence. 

"Good-bye, Ernest," he struggled to 
say, his hands trembling with emotion. 
Other words he tried to speak and could 
not. They embraced each other in silence. 
Now the last day had come. There was 
a general expectation that he would make 
some confession of his guilt before the day 
was over. When I called to see him he 
109 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



was aitting with writing-paper on hia knee. 
He rose to hig feet and took my hand 
graciously as I entered the cell. 

" Waiting for you," he eaid, in a quiet, 
meditative manner that brou-ht out in 
sharp contrast the indifferent attitude of 
previous days. " You are very kind to 
me." 

" We are all brothers, and I am only 
doing a brother's duty." Whatever his 
thoughts were when these wor('B were 
spoken he made it possible for me from 
that moment to bpeak straight to hifj heart. 
One thing he had retained, so true and 
abiding that I wondered then and since 
that it did not redeoiii his life, a boy's 
love for his mother. 

There were some things spoken at that 
hour which cannot be repeated — deep and 
dark things about which my lips must be 
forever sealed. He had been speaking 
with a doleful strain in his voice. Here 
110 



THE DESPERADO 



and there ho would rtop and throw op. i 
a door in that aubterrMioan world-the 
«xth hell-*, that I might photograph 
the Mene on my mind and go back to the 
youth of the oountry with a me«age 
coloured with a ,ruer and more pr«rtioaI 
realism. It was « terrible portrayal of 
the tragedy enacted orery day under the 
smoke counterpane, anch a picture as no 
man could paint but he who had mad,- 
hu bed there. 

When he had finished he said, " Here is 
a message that I hare written for the 
young men. They may listen to me 
through you, and take warning before it is 
too late." He also gavo mr tho la,t letter 
he wrote to his mother and brother 

"These," he said, "may bring them 
some comfort. Poor mother!" and he 
broke off, choked with the anguish of his 
heart. "Poor mother!" he tried to say 
again, "she does not deserve all this. I 
111 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



■I 



would die a thouaand deaths if I could 
only take the disgrace — " He never fin- 
ished the sentence. His sorrow was too 
deep for words. 

" Tell mother how badly I feel that I 
should cause so much sorrow in heir heart 
and bring such sadness on her head, and 
tell Willie to stay at home as long as there 
is a home to stay in." 

He leaned against the wall of the cell, 
faint with the teriliik i irden tiiat weighed 
him down. 

" Ernest," I said, drawing him toward 
me, " it will be all right. Dry your tears, 
my boy. There is no sorrow that heaven 
cannot heal. Ernest," and I looked into 
his tear-flooded eyes, " there is something 
yet to be done." He gazed a long, deep 
gaze, and his cheeks quivered rapidly. 
" Something yet to be done." For 
the moment I hesitated to speak fur- 
ther. So great was his grief I was afraid 
112 



THE DESPERADO 









Ie.t any word of mine might add to it. 
" There is aomething you owe to yourself 
and to God and to the world." 

He turned away hia head. " For my- 
self I do not wish to know, but then can 
be no forgivenees, my boy, without it, and 
you— oh, you cannot go to-morrow to meet 
death unforgiven. I do not wish to know 
to-night, but the world will wish to know 
to-morrow. Ernest, are you guilty or not 
guilty? 'If we confess our sins He is 
faithful and just to forgive us our sins and 
to cleanse us from aU unrighteousness.' I 
shall expect an answer in the morning." 

There was no reply. He stretched out 
his hand to the wall as if for support, and 
his chest rose and fell like the heaving sea. 
"Your burden is heavy, my boy, but 
Christ is the burden-bearer. I can only 
tell you in this hour of His love for yon. 
Whatever you may have been, whatever 
you are now— His love can save -i u." 
» 113 



THE BROKKN TRAIL 



The darkneaa — and in that little place 
it was always dark — was falling black and 
gloomy, relieved only by the glimmering 
light from the window opposite. There 
was neither sound of voice nor foot in the 
corridors outside, for to both guards and 
prisoners alike the tragic hour sent out its 
solemn message. A hush, strange and 
weird, like that which precedes the coming 
of a great event, settled over them, broken 
only by stifled sobs like the cries of a 
child in the night. 

I quoted to him from the prayer of 
Newman's that will linger in our mem- 
ories so long as language lives and hearts 
love, hoping that it might be to him a 
ladder of light from the crypt of despair: 

" I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou 
Should'Bt lead me on; 
I loved to choose and see my path, but now 

Lead Thou me on. 
I loved the garish day, and spite of fears. 
Pride ruled my will;— remember not past 
yeara" 

114 



THE DESPERADO 

Sounds that were scarcely audible came 
from his sealed lips. 

" I must go now, Ernest— you will need 
some rest." 

He turned round and put his hand on 
my shoulder with a look in his eyes that 
even after six years haunts me with its 
tmutterable sadness. "Will you be with 
me to the very last to-morrow ?" 

" Yes, Ernest— right to the scaffold." 
Before five o'clock next morning a car- 
riage came for me. Through the dull mist, 
faint and low, the stars were shining. Not 
a word was spoken. The very houses 
seemed asleep. Here and there, however, 
we could discern the shimmer of a light 
in a window; for some people, unable 
to sleep, had risen early. My heart beat 
faster and faster as we moved rapidly to 
the last scene in this terrible tragedy. 

Now, and for the first time, a double 
sentry was pacing the roadway outside the 
116 



THE BROKEN TBAIL 



"Halt!" they cried, raising their 
muskets. It was so sudden and unex- 
pected that it took my breath away. They 
carefully examined my credentials, and 
having satisfied themselves as to my iden- 
tity, admitted me to the guard-room. 

The prisoner was holding his face 
against the bars, evidently awaiting my 
coming, and, almost spontaneously, we 
greeted each other in a very friendly 
manner. 

" I hope you rested a little during the 

night." 

"Not much," he replied. "I spent 
most of the time reading the passages you 
marked for me." 

Meanwhile breakfast was brought to 
him, but he ate little. He was stripped of 
the prison garb and dressed in clean linen 
and a dark suit, which did not seem to be 
much worn. As soon as the guard de- 
parted he said to me, " When it's all over 
116 



ilii 



THE DESPERADO 

promise me you will write to mother; 
make it as easy as you can for her." 

There was a plaintive note in his voics. 
His mother was his constant thought in 
those last days, no less than my own. I 
had yet to learn, when the heat and fever 
of the day was over, that I had assented to 
an ahnost impossible task. 

He found much solace in the hymns of 
his childhood during my former visits, and 
now for the last time I sang, " There's not 
a fnend like the lowly Jesus," and read 
the Shepherd Psalm with a few comments 
interpolated here and there. 

We knelt down to pray. Beside us was 
the death-watch, and behind us the guards. 
I put my arm around him, and he gripped 
my hand in his. His frame shook violent- 
ly, and for a while he seemed to be 
plunged in a paroxysm of pain. It was 
hard to pray— never so hard. Without 
delay, for there were but a few moments 

nr 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



i 



left to us, I said, " Now, Ernest, what is 
your ajswer!" 

"Oh, I'm guilty! I'm guilty 1" he 
wailed out piteously, and a great flood of 
tears fell on the cold stone floor. The 
pent-up feelings had burst. The iron will 
was broken. The secret "vas revealed at 
last. 

"Oh! — oh! — oh!" he moaned, and 
lifted his arms up and down in rapid 
motion, " God f'-i"give me, forgive me — 
I'm guilty ! I'm guilty !" 

And more beautiful than the dawn that 
was breaking came heaven's own sweet 
light. 

" And now, Ernest, this is for you — tlir 
broken body and shed blood of the Lord 
Jesus Christ preserve your soul unto ever 
lasting lif.e." 

We -ose to our feet. The storm was 
over. Like a ship with torn sail and shat- 
tered mast, he had entered the haveu 
118 



r I 



THE DESPERADO 



of perfect peace. With the back of hJB 
hand he brushed the teara from his cheeks, 
and, turning round to the guard, he 
stretched his hands through the bars, say- 
ing, " Good-bye, boys, youVe been kind to 
me." 

Then he turned to the death-watch and 
repeated the fareweU with aU the emphasis 
of a man with but a moment to live. 

There was a knock at the out«r door. 
Divining the meaning of the hurrying feet 
and muffled sounds, he exclaimed with 

quiet resignation, "It's R ." With 

this he threw his arms round my neck, 
leaned his head on my shoulder, and ex- 
pressed his gratitude again and yet again. 
There was no delay. The door was thrown 
open, and the hangman with bleared eyes 
and bloated face entered in evident excite- 
ment. 

"Morning," he said in a gruff voice; 
" stret«h out your arms." He buckled the 
119 



■J i 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 

prisoner's wrists and pinioned them cross- 
wise to his breast, and the dark procession 
moved slowly to the scafiold. In Ernest's 
buttonhole, sweet and fragrant, was the 
white rose I had given him that morning. 

A group of officials and press men had 
gathered in the jail-yard. We began to 
dimb the steps to the scaffold, when, mid- 
way, he leaned towards me and said, 
" Won't you pray for me once more ?" 
The procession stopped. A brief prayer 
was offered, and he was heard to whisper 
the " Amen." 

When we reached the platform I stood 
in front of him, and, while the hangman 
adjusted a white cap over his eyes, re- 
peated these words: 

"Otber refuge have I none, 
Hangs my helpless soul on Thee." 

The hangman was impatient. He raised 
his hand to indicate that everything was 
ISO 



In!:' 



THE DESPERADO 

ready. But I persisted and finished the 
verse, and then repeated, slowly and 
softly, the old familiar prayer, 

" Our Father who art in heaven, 
deliver — us — from evil." 

The grey mist of that February morn- 
ing enshrouded the limp and lifeless form 
of a young man who had a good chance in 
life — but missed it. 



The Scene at the Opeba House. 

It was four o'clock. The sharp, frosty 
air sent the blood tingling through our 
veins. Above and beyond was the clear 
blue sky, dotted here and there like the 
ocean with myriads of islands, flecked 
with the gold and purple of the western 
sun. 

The throngs were moving, hurrying in 
haste, to the old Opera House, which has 
since passed away with many traditions 
ISl 



i..4l 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



and landmarks of the uarly days. Before 
the hour of service every seat was occupied 
with men, old and young, and none 
younger than sixteen. 

Packed closely in the long galleries and 
standing in every available space in the 
large auditorium, they waited, these weet- 
em men, in deep and respectful sUence. 
Behind me was a chorus of male voices, 
and so crowded was the stage in front, as 
I arose to apeak, there was scarcely stand- 
ing room. The drunkard and the gambler 
were there; the professional man and the 
artisan ; the old-timer with his bronzed and 
beaten face and the unsuspecting youth 
hardly awake to the mystery of life. I 
looked across that human sea, dark as it 
seemed to be that Sunday afternoon from 
the strain and sorrow of the week before, 
and there above it all I saw but one thing, 
a little white cloud rising out of the sea— 
a human souL 



122 



TFIE DESPERADO 






" Men of Calgary, from the pris-m cell 
I come to you bearing in my hands a 
message written with the tears and bWl 
of a young man who last week died on the 
scaffold. Indeed to young men the worid 
over, beyond the reach of my living voice 
to-day, I fain would speak, for such was 
his wish. 

" It was said by a philosopher of the old 
Jrench school of materialism, • However 
cleverly we may have carved the mysteri- 
ous block of which our life is made, the 
black vein of destiny ever reappears in it.' 
It would seem at first sight as if this in- 
terpretation was true to the facts of life 
and experience. But in the last analysis, 
while there is much that is beyond our 
ken, one thing remains immutable as the 
law that binds the planet to its orbit and 
the ocean to the shore, ' Whatsoever a man 
soweth, that shall he also reap.' What 
men call Fate to-day— and this word ia 
183 



mi 



i!^ 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 

often a convenient subterfuge for the man 
who gambles away his life and fritters 
away his years in sin — Orod calls Conse- 
quence. Every sin has its own penalty 
just as every seed has its own development. 
There is a law of cause and effect — a law 
of continuity regulating the reproductive 
process. The substance of the seed passes 
'uto the plant which springs from it. So 
is it with the retributive consequences of 
sin. Every act is going to reproduce itself. 
Like begets like. Wnatever is put into the 
first of life is put into the whole of life. 
The folly of the child becomes the vice ' ' 
the youth and then the crime of the man. 
Some day we will reap the harvest. 

" Make no mistake about it. There is a 
strange Nemesis in life that will never 
allow wrongdoing to go unrequited in this 
world or in any other world; and on the 
trail of every evil-doer follow the hounds 
that never know defeat. What we do in 
124 



I'm 



THE DESPERADO 

the dark to-day will be revealed in the 

lijjht f(>-iiioiTow. 

■ The Mssua of the life to tw 

We weave in colours all our own; 
And In the Held of destiny 
We reap as we have sown.' 

"Again, there is much said about 
environment-and the last word has not 
yet been spoken on this subject— that man 
19 the product of circumstances, nothing 
more, nothing less; that ho cannot help 
bf'ng good or bad; that he is no ^re 
accountable for his conduct than a flower 
18 responsible for its colour. It is said also 
—and some of you here have been saving 
It, too, during these unhappy days-that 
the issues of life are determined by 
antecedent caubes over which a man has no 
control; that character and destiny are 
"imply questions of what a man eats, 
where he lives, and who his parents were.' 
" Methinks we need no other argument 
135 



mi 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 

ajfainst this iloptrinp tlian the tpstimony 
of our own consciotisness. Thnre is 
nothing on which wo have clcaror know- 
ledge than the consciousneeg of human 
frcpdoni. We know we liave power to do 
or to leave nndone. ' I have no one to 
blaitic but myself for being hero,' were the 
significant words spoken to me from the 
pripin cell. Every day wo are making 
choices and deciding on courses of action 
that aflfect the whole of life. 

" The influence of environment and 
heredity is not to be overlooked, but to 
such an extent has this tnith been carried 
that, like the old religious theory of pre- 
destination, it has become to many of 'fi' 
the Alpha and Omega of a stark gospel that 
ignores half the facts of life. Heredity is 
not everything. The son of Jesse James, the 
notorious Missouri outlaw, passed the final 
examination before the State Board, and is 



126 



THE DESPERADO 

now n full-fledged lawvor. Ho wa. I,.ft 
an orphan at six yean, with a heritage of 
diatruat and suspicion that might have 
wished him. He has redeemed the name 
from obloquy, and bids fair to lead an 
honoured and useful life. It takes more 
than heredity to cnish a human *,ul. 
What have you to say about the girl who 
has kept her soul pure as the lily, Uko 
Browning's poetic child Pompilia, al- 
though bom in the moral miasma of Hay- 
market or Whitechapel ? ' Life is a mv'.- 
terious block,' said the French writer. 
Very well, let us keep the figure. The 
world is the studio in which the block i, 
carved and chiselled by the thought and 
action of to-day into the living statuary of 
our destiny. 

' It matters not how strait the gate, 

How charged with punishment the scroll, 
I am the master of my fate. 
I am the captain of my soul.' 

127 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



" So, men of Calgary, I give yon the 
story of his young and tragic life, told to 
me with all the emphasis of a man await- 
ing the approach of doom. He was bom 
in Kansas, October 12th, 1882, and at the 
age of fourteen his father died. Then he 
went with his widowed mother to Buffalo, 
Wyoming, and thence to Trinidad, Color- 
ado, where he enlisted in the United States 
Infantry for the Philippines. At San 
Francisco, on the eve of his departure for 
the seat of war, he was examined in the 
hospital, and when they discovered his left 
lung was diseased, he was given his dis- 
charge. He wandered over the Western 
States, committing every crime in the 
calendar, nntil he was branded as an out- 
law and a fugitive from justice. For four 
days he went back to see his mother, the 
first visit he had paid her in six years. 
God help the young man who never thinks 
it worth while in six years to travel back 
128 



THE DESPERADO 



again to mother and to home I Then he 
crossed the line into British Columbia. 
Ultimately he found his way to the dis- 
trict north of Calgary, and at Ponoka, 
where his mother was visiting some 
friends, he was arrested on the charge of 
horse-stealing. While in the custody of 
the police he jumped the train and walked 
to Laoombe, then to Calgary and to Banff, 
where he was arrested the second time. 
He was sentenced to three years servitude 
in Stony Mountain, but was soon brought 
back to Calgary and tried for murder. 

" What the trial and its issue was I need 
not now repeat. The sad and tragic end- 
ing of a life so young and not altogether 
without promise will ever remain one of 
the moat thrilling and terrible chapters in 
the annals of criminal life in our country. 
"A criminal ' * 



; fourteen! 



that I 



could turn the hands of the dock fahday 
1» that hour in a boy's life go that th« 



eye 



i 



129 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



of the nation may aee it. Fourteen ! four- 
teen! 

■ And a bey's will Ib the wind's will, 
And the thoughts of youth are long, long 
thoughts.' 

" Fourteen ! and the young man wakens 
from his long reverie — ^the passion for 
freedom flows in his veins — freedom at 
any price — oonsequences are small, risks 
ai« nothing, and he tosses his cap in the 
air. Fourteen 1 Oh, wonderful magic 
hour, when to the touch of youth the 
golden gate flies open, and the meteor 
mom strikes ridge and hilltop beyond and 
beyond; there is neither equipoise to his 
thinking nor equilibrium to his living. 
He is a Rob Roy in the making. He lives 
in a world of his own, ne plus ultra, 
where nobody ever comes and so few ever 
undeiatand. 

" In the last days, when his wild spirit 
was broken and I had gained his oon- 
130 



THE DESPERADO 



fidence, I a«ked what had brought him to 
all a.i«, and he began with the significant 
W>rds 'It Height have been diflferent with 
me If I had had a father to guide me when 
I was fourteen. I read novels of the 
Diamond Dick, Nick Carter and James 
Boys class, and they filkd my mind with 
wild and false notions of life. They led 
me to bad habits, bad companions and 
cigarette smoking. I learned to handle 
firearms, and I do not know if there was 
ever one put up that I could not take to 
pieces in five minutes.'- 

"And now, men of Calgaiy, I shall 
^ead to you the message from this young 
man, written by his own hand, February 
1st, 1904, twenty-four hours before he 
went to the scaffold: 

Toung men of Calgary:— 

131 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



i 



Boys'. I think by my owm experience they are 
the starting of a romantic Ule. I know I used 
to read those books before I left home, and 
think bow nice It would be If I could belong to 
a gang of brigands. Well, boys, I did have lots 
of fun as long as It lasted. But when my days 
were numbered I thought of my romantic lite, 
boys. Ob, boys, take my advice and stay away 
from saloons, gambling-houses, and shun bad 
company, especially the house of lU-fame, for 
you know one bad woman Is worse than ten bad 
men. She can lead you Into the clutches of the 
devil before you are aware of the fact, and I 
tell you with a true heart, stay away from those 
bad women. 

" • Here Is the Btory of my life, boys. I used 
to read novels when I was home, and that 
started me to going Into bad company, drink- 
ing, gambling, and the first thing I knew I was 
looking out from behind the bars. I met some 
bad men in jail, and we planned, and I got out, 
but they caught me again, and I got out again, 
and so on for five years, till I landed in a con- 
demned cell. Escaped again, but Providence 
proved against me, and I was fetched back to 
meet my fatal doom on the scaffold. I had to 
leave my dear ones at home and go among 
strangers, lay out nights, go without anything 
to eat for two days at a time, be wet and cold, 
and I have sat down many a time and thought 

13S 



l&i^*:s , 



THE DESPERADO 

hl.T,'"^ '" '"°"'"" " •"'"'•• breaking her 
neart. longtng for her boy. 

thil"J"''.'*J" lon't «o away from hom«. Jnrt 
would die a dozen tlmei to take the dlicrace 

Oh. what is mj dear old mother doing toHlayT 
Maybe «he is dead. I wl.h I could -TheTbut 
She IB far, far away from here, and I am going 
to be hanged In about twenty-four hour.. Take 

nw! '., "o^Pony. drink and cigarettes. 

mrer'knr"^ '"" "' "^'^ ^^' ">" 

„ "Bbwebt 

Calgary, Alberta, Canada, N.-W. T. 
R. N.-W. M. P.- •• 

"Oh, young man, standing on the 
bndge between the old and the new, build- 
ing your oaetles in Spain and traveUing 
through Bohemia— wait a minute I The 
promised land does not always lie beyond 
the mountains, and all is not gold that 
glitters. They say that on the way to 
the Yukon-that modem Eldorado-there 
may be seen the bleached skeletons of those 
138 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



'■|i^ 



fevered wanderers who, in the first mad 
rush for gold, perished amid the wild 
wastes of that Great North Land. 

" Dream away, young man, dream 
away I I hope we shall never grow so faith- 
less and materialistic as to destroy the 
hopes and visions of these tender years. 
But if your dreams are fermenting a love 
for a life of romance and hairbreadth 
escapes, for the green of the gambling 
table and the glitter of the grog shop, then 
you are following a will o' the wisp, an 
ignis fatuua, that will only make more 
bitter ihe ruin when it comes. 

" Oh, fathers and mothers, remember 
the pregnant words from the prison-cell. 
Fourteen! fourteen! the hour of crisis in 
your :boy'8 life, and the hour of your re- 
sponsibility, too. Give him your sym- 
pathy and counsel, teach him to know 
hiimself and the biology of his being. Fill 
your home with laughter and music, 
134 



THE DESPERADO 

home first, home last,— and you have 
found the key to the young man prohlem. 
But ignore the sportfulness of youth, de- 
ride him because he prefers a game of 
baseball to the reading of a Bible story, 
pull down the blinds and close the shutters 
fast, dress yourself in black and croak like 
an Alpine crow, uproot the sunflower and 
plant the weeping willow— and do not be 
surprised if late at night the dooi-beU 
rings and your boy staggers drunk across 
the carpet. 

"There is but one word more. Ohl 
God, if there is a man here, old or young, 
indifferent to this warning voice, wake 
him with a start. Keep the bell tolling 
until it will only seem to say, home- 
home— my Father's home. It is said that 
when the Lexington went down on tiie 
Atlantic coast in a dreadful storm, the bell 
on the wreck could be heard for days and 
days tolling its warning notes to the 
136 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



sailon far out at sea. So from the wreck 
of a human life a warning bell ia tolling, 
tolling. Listen, men of Calgary 1 It 
speaks — a saved soul — a lost lifel ' One 
man was saved on 'ie cross, that none 
might despair; and jnly one, that none 
might presume.' " 

The Aptbbmath. 



Theouoh the auditorium groups of men 
remained behind in different attitudes long 
after the audience had dispersed. A man, 
stretching his arm over the shoulders of 
two men, was pulling the collar of my coat 
with his long, thin fingers. I was talking 
earnestly with a score of men across the 
stage, and for a moment paid no heed to 
him until he gave me a jerk that almost 
drew me off my feet. 

He was tall, over six feet, and of a some- 

136 



THE DESPERADO 



what slender build. His face, which 
looked as if it had not been washed for 
many days, was pinched almost to a point ; 
the forehead was eiceptionally broad, and 
his dark eyes, hidden behind a pair of 
gold-rimmed eye-glasses, were red and 
swollen. A scraggy beard covered his 
cheeks, and his ooal-blaok hair was long 
and knotted, after the fashion of the great 
unwashed. He wore a loose, saggy ooat, 
quite unsuited for those freezing days, and 
round his neck a woollen scarf in double 
fold. 

" I want to see yon, sir," he said, his 
face quite contorted with excitement 
" Yes, sir, what is the matter f " 
" Oh, I have gone all wrong." 
"Drink?" 
" Everything." 
" Where are you boarding ?" 
" Nowhere." 

" Where are you working ?" 
137 



■x'HE BROKEN TRAIL 



'Towhere." 

" Where did jou deep lut night t" 

" Nowhere." 

" Then, where do you get your meals t" 

" Anywhere I And I wai not alwaya 
like thii." 

" No man ever is," I remarked, " but it 
is not what you have been, it is what you 
hope to be." 

" I have no hope, sir," and he shook his 
head sadly. " No ' oe but—" 

" You do not vc' a that," I interrupted. 
"Life surely htu,, even yet, something 
better in store for you." 

" Yes, sir, I mean it, I mean it — 
annihilation — anything, and it cannot 
come too soon." 

"Well, a man usually gets in this 
world what he seeks after. Sit down a 
minute. Tell me, what have you been 
seeking after !" 

He threw back his shoulders and stared 
138 



THE DESPERADO 



at me for a little. " Happinegg," he re- 
plied, with a deep, sonoroug voice, "like 
many another man who never found it." 

"On the other handl" I replied, "quite 
unlike many another man who has found 
it. Evidently it all dt-ponda upon the motive 
and spirit with which you set out after 
it, for no man with a true heart and pui^ 
pose ever wholly missed it." 

" Hardly true to the facts, sir," he con- 
tinued. « Happiness is a gift, just like 
genius in art or in poetry; but a man has 
to suffer the pain of disappointment like 
me, at the end of fruitless years, before he 
wakeng up to it. Surely I and other men 
like me can be forgiven for arriving at this 
conception of life." 

The sound of the man's voice had drawn 
to the stage a group of men— for many of 
whom he was stating the problem of their 
lives as weU as his own. The gradual 
falling of his voice into a rich, sweet 
139 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



cadenoe produced quite an obvious effect 
on the men around, and indeed on mjraelf. 

" I know there is no argument so oon- 
clusive as experience, but let mo make this 
observation: what you have been seeking 
after is pleasure, which is to many people 
a misnomer for happiness. Pleasure may 
be a medium of gratification to the senses, 
but to a soul that longs, yearns indeed, for 
something more abiding, it is only Dead 
Sea fruit. And in the garden of life, 
boys," I continued, looking round on those 
faces that sin had so scarred, " there is 
other fniit, which if any man eats he will 
never hunger again. This, boys, is the ex- 
perience of other men and of my own." 

The man had taken a seat and was now 
supporting his head with both his hands. 
Every eye was centred on him — this man 
with the black face and gold-rimmed eye- 
glasses and a aoft, cultured voice. 

" Now, boys, I am going into the little 
140 



THE DESPERADO 

room, where any of you may see me alone 

if you so wish." 

He was the first to follow. " I. there 

any way out?" he said, his fingers clutch- 
ing the handle of the door. 
" Only one way, my friend—' I am the 

way, the truth, and the life.' " 
" That is a long way for me to travel, 

but if that is the only way, Gcd helping 

me, I will." 

He waited outside until the last man 
had oome and gone. On our way home, I 
requested him to reveal his identity, and, 
after a little hesitation, he drew out of his 
pocket some papers which he had brought 
from England. " I can only ask you," he 
said, ae he put them into my hand, " that 
you regard my name with the same secrecy 
that a priest would do in the confessional. 
I have been living under an assumed name 
since I came to the West four years ago, 
for my father's sake." 

141 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 

His father was a dignitary of the Estab- 
lished Church. He himself had graduated 
from Eton, winning scholarships that 
entitled him to special privileges in Cam- 
bridge. In those student days he had 
fallen into intemperate habits, which ulti 
mately forced him to leave home for the 
seclusion of this western land. 

Ii the rooms attached to the church he 
sat down next day and wrote to his father. 
Meanwhile, he was appointed interim 
secretary of the Young Men's Club, and 
for three months filled the position in a 
manner that won for him the respect and 
admiration of us all. I can never think of 
the letter his father sent, as he besought 
him to return home, without feeling that 
here was a paraphrase of the simple story 
in the pearl of parables. 

We were sorry when he left ns that sum- 
mer afternoon. He made a very striidng 
appearance as he stood on the platform 
148 



THE DESPERADO 

chatting freely with b few friends, clad in 
a light grey suit, tan shoes and a white 
Panama hat When the carriages were 
drawn into tension he stepped into the 
vestibule. 

"Good-bye," he said, raising his hat 
from hie head and nodding to each of us, 
Good-bye I I shall come back again to 
see you." 

He came back — one day. 

n. 

The escapades of the young desperado 
and hie tragic end were published by the 
press orer the whole continent. About 
three months later a rancher, living eighty 
miles from the city, came to see me. The 
parsonage had been under quarantine for 
three weeks, and the only approach to the 
study was by temporary steps which were 
placed under the window. The casement 
was of very narrow dimensitms, and as he 
141 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



was a portly man of considerable weight I 
did not invite him in. 

" Can I come in i" he asked, as I threw 
up the window. 

" Certainly, if you can get in." 

With no little difiSculty he was pulled 
inside, and after he had recovered from 
the somewhat exciting entry, he presented 
a card bearing the name of a young proba- 
tioner, with the words thereon : " This 

will introduce Mr. , who wishes to get 

the question answered, What must I do to 
be saved !" 

He paced the floor in a very nervous 
manner, and there was a wild look in his 
eyes. For a moment I wondered if I were 
face to face with a crazy man, and with no 
possible chance of an exit. 

"Why have you come heret" I in- 
quired, putting the card in my pocket. 

" To see you," he replied, falteringly, 
as if he were embarrassed. 
144 



THE DESPERADO 



"Why need you come eighty miles to 
Bee me? Are there not ministers near 
your home ?" 

" I followed the story of that murder 
case in the newspapors, and it got such a 
hold of me that I have not been able to get 
away from it. I am the worst man in all 
that community, and I am getting worse 
all the time." 

His words, earnest and vehement as they 
were, as once disarmed my fears. He 
snatched at every spiritual truth that was 
offered as though he had never heard of it 
before. 

Some souls are bom into the spiritual 
world as a flower bursts into life on a June 
morning. There are other souls that can- 
not move a step until the fetters are broken 
through wreBtling and tears. His was the 
peaceful passing, so quiet, indeed, that I 
was hardly conscious that the light had 
come. 

» 145 



fl, 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 

" Wlutt can I do now ?" he asked, as he 
jumped to his feet 

" Do the heet you can do in your home 
and in your neighborhood, and let me hear 
f?ora you later." 

It was one of those districts far away 
from any centre of religious or commercial 
activity, unvisited by a preacher at that 
time. It is incidental to the rapid settle 
ment of the vast Province of Alberta that 
there should be such places which, even at 
this present hour, through the inadequate 
supply of men and money, the Church has 
not been able to reach. In the years to 
oome, the spread of education and the com- 
mingling of so many elements in this 
western empire will produce, let us hope, 
such a race as the world has never seen — 
giants physically and mentally. But what 
place will be giv^i to the moral and the 
religious, which, surely, is the crown and 
flower of evolution ? Europe is strewn with 
146 



1i 



THE DESPERADO 



the wrecks of nations that, amid the glory 
of material splendour, grew indifFerant to 
those things which alone ensure the peace 
and integrity of empire. Let na lay the 
foundations now. It is almost now or 
never. 

His home was a very humble place, as 
indeed the homes of all pioneers are. But 
within a week he started a Sunday-school 
there for old and young folks, and al- 
though missionaries have come and gone 
since that day, and he himself has gone 
away, too, the man whom I had first 
thought in my study to be demented is 
spoken of in that place as its first mis- 
sionary. 

When the day of unfoldment co les, and 
there are neither pioneers nor frontieiB, 
the diadem on the brow of the Redeemer 
will reveal the trophies won by such men, 
and women, too, on the bleak and lonely 
prairiesi 

14T 






Han, fahe man. tmiling, dettrueiivt 
fftan. 

— Tluodonm. 



Pity's ahin to hve. 



— Soitfhtme. 



Orimrhearied world, that looVtt with 
Levite eyes 
On those poor fallen by too much faith 
in man'. 
She that upon thy freezing threshold lies, 
Starved to more sinning by thy savage 
ban. 
Seeking that refuge because foulest vice. 
More Ood-like than thy virtue is, whose 
span 
Shuts out the wretched only, is more free 
To enter Heaven than thou, shalt ever be! 
— Legend of Brittany. 

But yet the pity of it, Tn,gol 0, logo. 
The pity of ii, Ic 

—Othello. 

150 



THE OUTCAST 



I WAB piuhing my way through the 
black eery gloom of brush and willow by 
the river-bank, when by ohanoe, in a 
•equeetered spot, I stumbled on a cabin. 

At first there was no sign of life visible 
anywhere, and I hestitated at the threshold. 
Looking round for the window, I found it 
boarded up, ao that not even a ray of sun- 
shine could steal in. The door, which waa 
slightly ajar, I threw open, and peered into 
the darkness. Presently a low, sad moan 
drew me almost unconsciously toward the 
farther comer. 

Behind a tattered curtain I could see the 
flickering light of an oil lamp. I pulled 
the curtain aside> and there, clad in thin, 
tav/dry finery, was the fragile form of a 
woman, huddled together like a heap of 
garbaga For the moment it looked ao 
shadowy and intangible that, to assure my- 
1^, I touohed it again and again. I conld 
161 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



M Ih 



see nothing in the dim light. So, itoop- 
ing down, I raised her head toward the 
light and brushed back the long, dark hair. 
She was asleep— or dead, I knew not 
which. Taking the light in one hand, and 
holding her head in the other, I carefully 
■cmtiniMd the features. They were small 
and deUcately shaped. There waa a hectic 
flush on the cheek and emaU, deep lines 
that wasting disease had made in her face. 
Her lips were pale— almost white. Her 
eye* were so sunken that, at that moment, 
I could not disoem their oolor. 

The man who had called me so strangely 
to this strange place had not returned. He 
gave neither name nor address, only a few 
pointed directions, hurriedly spoken, and 
diOTe away as mysteriously as he came. 
He seemed to be a Hebrew— that wae all 
I could say— a well-built, clean-shaven 
Hebrew. I conjured all this to myself as 
I Mt by the bednde. 

US 



THE OUTCAST 

Who WM she, this sweet creature, soU- 
taiy and alone in a dingy cabin, and waa 
•he dead, or was she in a stupor from 
which there might be no awakening? The 
rtrangeneas of it aU haunted me. The 
silence seemed to speak to me of tragedy. 
An orange-box, on which were placed sotne 
bottles, a silver-mounted cigarette caae, and 
a crucifix, served evidently both for a 
table and a chair. This, indeed, waa the 
only piece of furniture— if furniture it 
were— I could discern in the place except 
the low wooden bench on which she lay. 

It was a weird and lonely vigil I spent 
that night, waiting for the long-delayed re- 
turn of the only one who could explain the 
situation. For I had thei. no hope that 
the woman would ever be able to teU he 
own tale. Stooping over her, I again 
raised her head and sp ^e a word or two. 
But she heeded not. 
She cannot be more than twenty, I 
lU 



1! 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



Mid to mjmsli, and the man, her hiubud, 
I iuppoied, must be a little more. 

At length my impatience ovewame me, 
tnd I wu about to open the door when the 
man entered. He wa« very courteoua, and 
erouaed himaelf for the delay in retum- 
Jng. " Juit got tome stimulant for her," 
he said, making his way to he.» bedside, 
" and a little oil for the lamp." 

"Then she is sleeping," I said "a 

very deep and long sleep, I fear." 

He made no further comment, but waa 
loud in his expression of sympathy for her, 
sometimes calling her "the woman" or 
"the gal." 
" She is your wife, I suppose I" 
" Nay, sir," he replied, raising his heavy 
eyebrows, and with a look <rf surprise. 
" She is my luve." 

"Your love?" I repeated. "You 
mean — " 

"My luve," he again interjected, and 
IM 



TifB OUTCAST 



there wm • ilight .giution ia hi. maimer. 
" I vo lured her for four years." 

" Four yean— not .o bad, lir, for a 
Hebrew. Your intentiona were to marrr 
hart" ^^ 

" Sure, •h- v.-h.-ii we got the money to- 
?et; er ; ft , she, poor gal, luves me." 

Ila-,!./ Lu 1 hu fiuirfied gpeaking when 
the f,r,.i moved and the lips parted. We 
stooped down to catch the words, wUh ,;Iie 
took a breath betwen each syllable. 
" It's— getting— daik— Solly.' 
'She ain't oon^cioua — a fn^tfy -.ipi; 
woman aiie is, sir. ' And he }.„; a t j 
spoonful of brandy to her parol 1 \'h 

" Solly stands for Solomon, doea it :.'..•:. ■ 
And Solomon is a Hebrew name ?" 
^ " It is, sir," he replied, abruptly, " and 
I'm not ashamed of it either." 

"And ah©—" I began, pointing to her 
whom he had just caUed hia " luve." 
He abruptly broke in: " She's a Ohris- 
IM 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



i\ 



"fi 



tian "—that was all he knew of the term— 
"as good a one as ever lived, only she 
ain't been very fortunate. She wanted to 
see you, but she ain't conscious now. 
She's been dozing like that since last 
night" 

"And you are alone with her. Has she 
no friends or relatives ?" 

" Only, the gal that brought her that," 
ho said, pointing to the crucifix, "and 
me." As he said this the door opened and 
a woman of prepossessing appearance 
caltred quieUy. She bowed gracefully 
and shook hands with both of us. " This 
is her friend,'" he continued. " She don't 
talk much English," and forthwith they 
began an animated conversation in French. 
I observed her very closely. She was 
elaborately made up with paint and pow- 
der, and was heavily perfumed with panne 
violets. Almost immediately the awful 
oonvictioa dawned on me that the bundle 
1S6 



I — 

she 
to 

)W. 

ast 
ihe 

t," 
nd 
ad 
Lce 

iiy 

lis 
I't 

sy 

h. 
as 
»- 
le 
il 
le 



I 



THE OUTCAST 

of humanity in the comer was a unit in 
the vast army of degraded and blighted 
womanhood. Hers, alas, the same sad 
story, so old in the histoiy of the race that 
it need not be retold. With this convic- 
tion in my heart I arose and looked at her 
again with ever-deepening pity. Presently 
she began to breathe heavily. Thinking it 
might ease her, I raised her head and 
turned the piUow, which was hot and 
hard. 

" It'8— getting— dark— Solly," I heard 
her whisper again, hardly conscious. I 
beckoned him over. 

A little later a pair of sphinx-like eyes 
were looking at us from a tangled mass of 
hair. 

" You know me, Esther?" he said. 

"Solly!" she muttered with a faint 
smile, and stretched out to him her lily- 
white hand. His name was on her lipg, 
167 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



and ghe lisped it at intervals like the notes 
of a song. 

He gave her more brandy and bathed 
her brow with cologne water. The sweet 
assurance of gratitude was on her face, 
and the color revived in her cheeks. 

"The clergyman is here, Esther, and 
Marie." 

She started up at the words, and opened 
her sunkeA eyes in evident excitement. 

"I hope you have not been waiting 
long," she replied, as I pressed her thin, 
frail hand in mine. " May I speak with 
you alone?" The words came without 
much effort, and her cheeks, already red, 
flushed crimson. 

" You are hardly able to speak to-night ; 
it might be better for you to wait until 
morning." 

" Oh, I cannot," she pleaded tenderly— 
" the night seems so long — I want to tell it 
all to you now. Help me up, Solly." 
168 



THE OUTCAST 

He raised her gently and supported her 
head with a pillow. 

" Thank you, dear," she said. " You 
and Marie may go now." 

I rose and sat on the end of the wooden 
bench where she lay. The light was now 
burning brightly, and I could discern more 
clearly the sad expression of her wasted 
face. 

" Oh, do you think Gt)d wOl ever for- 
give me?" 

"Forgive you, my child— this is the 
hour of forgiveness." 

"But my lif^my life I" she repeated, 
and closed her eyes tightly, as if haunted 
by the spectres of past transgression; and 
the words that followed were lost to me in 
a deep, sad wail wrung from her heart. 
She paused a while. Eemorse was in her 
soul. 

" You know," I continued, "the mean- 
ing of this," and I lifted the crucifix to her 
*y*- 189 



WMs: 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



"Yes," she said, in tones half-choked 
with despair, " but it's too late for me— 
too late now." 

"Never," I hastened to reply, "never 
too late." 

The sorrow of her heart was so great 
that her eyes had lost their power for 
tears. " Oh, do you think," she burst out 
in tones stronger than before, "there's 
any chance' for me? I was not all to 
blame." She was breathing heavily again, 
and small beads of sweat glistened on her 
forehead. 

I put the crucifix into her hand and re- 
peated the words, " To the uttermost— to 
the uttermost." Hardly had I finished 
when her face turned pale, her head fell 
lifelessly to the side, and she lapsed again 
into unconsciousness. 

" Esther," I whispered in her ear, in the 
hope that the sound of her own name 
might rouse her, " are you aateep }" 
180 




f'?ff?nS?f'^^;^>^ 



■inHpipiPiipsi 



THE OUTCA8T 

The sUenoe hung like a pall over tlie 
huh place, and the mghing of the wind 
among the willows and poplars outside sent 
a chill to my heart. I went nervoudy to 
the door, expecting to find the Hebrew 
waiting outside. He had gone down the 
roadway to escort Marie through the thick 
brush. OccasionaUy there came on the 
wind the mufaed sound of their voices. 
The dark waters of the Bow reflected the 
crescent moon like a silver sheU. 

I hastened back to the bedside and knelt 
down in prayer, when she spoke in 
scarcely audible whispers, " Light— me— 
a-^igare;te. Light-me-a-<jigi,rett«.» 
I lit a matcL and gave her a cigarette. 
But her strength was gone. It feU un- 
lighted from her lips. She gave a faint 
sigh and sank back again on the pillow. 
" Yon will be stronger presently," I said, 
" just wait a minute." 
For the first time she seemed to realize 
11 161 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



her extreme weakness. After a moment 
she recovered somewhat, and with the 
words trembling on her t»ngue, gasped 
heavily, " Light— me— a— cigarette." 

There was something in the t»ne of the 
voice rather than n the words that im- 
pelled me to gratify again her dying wish 
Wlen it was nearly finished she opened 
her eyes and looked at me with a brighter 
expression. 

"Tou know," she said, regretfully 
"this is a bad habit I formed in my life, 
and it's too kte to give it up now. Mj 
nerves are all gone, sir, and it wUl steady 
them while I talk with you." 

Forthwith she began the story of her 
young and unfortunate life. But some- 
times her voice would fail in the telling of 
it, however hard she might try to speak, 
and her lips would be compressed so 
firmly that it seemed as if one would hear 
her tale no more. 



162 



THE OUTCAST 



lent 
the 
ped 

the 
im- 
ish 
led 
ter 

ly, 

fe, 

ler 
le- 
of 
,k, 
so 

RT 



She was bom in Chicago, and there her 
n«>ther lived at that moment. She oould 
never mention her mother's name without 
a flood of tears. Onoe when the sob. 
ehoked her voice and the hot tea« forced 
themselves through her closed eyelids I 
ventured to ask her if her mother knew 
about it, and she replied, "No, and when 

she does she will forgive me. Iwwnotdl 
to blame." 

She reoounted, too, the jo^ rf her girl- 
tooa; eepecially the day wh« the g^d 
bishop placed his hand on her h^- the 
dress she wore; and the desire that filled 
ter young heart that glad confirmation 
day. 

Then, in words broken at times with a 
nish of emotion, she related how, for three 
years, she went regularly to ohurch; how 
good she tried to be in these days-and 
God would, surely, not forget that in the 
reckoning-how she w«,t with her 
163 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



mo ^k t* (« visit the poor and the sick in the 
d«* i^aoes of the city; how — and at the 
m«wory of it her lips twitched paler and 
paJer, she stammered, hesitated, and her 
breath seemed to fail altogether. She 
tried to cpeak — how hard she tried ! — but 
could only find expression in the words, 
" Oh, how can I tell you f Do you think 
God will forgive me! I was not all to 
blame." 

"You need not tell me, my child," I 
said, taking hold of her fevered hand. 
" God knows all about it — that is enough." 

Her soul was struggling in the vortex of 
unutterable sorrow. The fires of hell were 
ablaze in her bosom. " It was a terrible 
mistake, sir," she ssid, in a forced whis- 
per, and her heart was beating wildly, like 
the bosom of a wounded bird — " but God 
knows I've paid the price for it." 

A darkness like that of death seemed to 
surround her. She raised her hand from 

184 



THE OUTCAST 



right to left, as if groping for something 
—groping, groping; then her beating heart 
lay still again. 

There was silence for some momenta. 
Then she opened her eyes and, with the 
words trembling on her tongue, began to 
teU how she was led into the tragic ruin of 
her life— how she went to service alone or 
with her mother— how she was sought hy 
the man who had so often ushered her into 
the family seat by the choir stalls— how he 
had concealed a serpent in the beautiful 
flowers he sent her— how he had infected 
the chalice of love with a deadly poison— 
the hypocrite, the betrayei--how he had 
thrown over her innuceut eyes the cloak of 
his religion— how he had won her trust, 
her love, her devotion— her ruin. " May 
God have mercy on him," she stammered 
out again in broken exclamations, " whe^ 
sver he is to-night — and on me." 

There was no note of bitterness in her 
165 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 

speech. In the hour of her crucifixion ihe 
would not be bitter. She would pr.y for 
the Father's forgiveneM for tho wretch 
who had bought her innocence at the cmt 
of her life. She would gladly pay the 
price to the uttermost farthing if only 
God would be merciful. 

I stoopnd down and picked up the 
crucifix, vhich had dropped in a moment 
of great tension, and held it to her eyes, 
which were now almost hidden with the 
wet hair that had faUen ever her forehead. 
" This, my child, ig the pledge and symbol 
of the divine mercy." 

She took her hand and cleared away the 
dishevelled mass. "Mercy! mercy 1" slie 
cried, as she grasped the crucifix with 
trembling fingers and looked up to heaven. 
" Yes— God will be merciful— to me— for 
Christ's sak»." 

The night was almost gone by this time, 
and she, worn out with the struggle and 
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THE OUTCAST 



sorrow of the long hours, dropped off to 
sleep. 

Meanwhile, SoUy had returned and 
was sitting at the open door with his face 
buried in his hands. His eyes were heavy 
with sleep— that was all. Her quiet and 
even breathing fell upon his ear. He 
stepped forward and gazed earnestly at her 
with a look of surprise. " Poor gal," he 
said, " she ain't all to blame." 

I waited for a moment, scarcely know- 
ing whether silence was best— and then the 
words escaped from my lips, "No, but 
the world will blame her— and you, too!" 
He started up like one who for the first 
time feels the trembling of the earth be- 
neath that presages disaster. He looked at 
her and then at me, and a strange white 
ness was on his face. 

"She is asleep," I interjected. "She 
told me nothing about you— but I know— '• 

nr 






THE BROKEN TRAIL 

^^ " You know yot ?» he broke off suddenly. 
Vot do you know? You know— » 
" Hush, you will waken her. Let her 
sleep." He was gesticulating wildly after 
the maimer of hig race, and the words, 
spoken deeply in his throat, seemed to 
choke hun at every syllable. "I know, 
BIT." I replied, "just enough to make mj 
say to you now that you-you-are not 
free from blame." 

He was staggered for the moment, and 
the silence gave the seal to the awful truth 
that was yet unexpressed. 

" The gal is mina I've luved her four 
years, and she weren't no maid when I met 
her either." 

Other words he spoke, hard and foul 
words such as no one should hear, as he 
walked the floor in the delirium of his 
rage. 

"There is no room here, sir, for words 
such as these. You have loved her for four 
US 



THE OUTCAST 



years, you say. So be it. But she lived a 
life of shame four years, and with your 
consent, the while you were a man of 
leisure. Is that the act of a lover?" 

He was speechless. The strong tension 
on his face relaxed. With bowed head and 
eyes cast down he went towards the door. 
There was pity in my heart for him 
He was bom in the ghetto of Chicago, a 
child of dirt and darkness. But ignorance 
m this day cannot be innocence, not even 
for a Hebrew. And then there was the 
law of his fathers. 

"Well," I said, as I moved towards 
him with outstretched hand, "this is not 
the hour for hard words. At-.nement day 
will be >^«re soon. Seek the forgiveness 
of God. .e kind to her-^he has not long 
to hve-and I shall send a nurse in the 
morning." 

When Esther awoke in the early morn- 
ing a new passion was surging in her 
169 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



breast— and yet not new. She had 
dreamed she was back again in the pure 
atmosphere of her mother's home, and the 
memory of ^.Ued her soul with an un- 
utterable longing. How often she had 
dreamed of it through these years in the 
house of bondage-oh, God. how often I 

She might have gone homa How many 
times she vowed she would, and no one 
would eveji know her past. But-and the 
irony of her dream rent her soul like a 
sharp sword. The overwhelming sense of 
her utter helplessness in the grip of an in- 
exorable fate, and the dark foreboding that 
she would never again look into her 
mother's face, made her tremble violently. 
She could see through the open door the 
crimson light of the rising sun filling the 
valley, and striking the ridge and hilltops 
beyond the river with a rich iridescence. 
A beautiful world, she thought— she won- 
dered she had not seen its beauty before. 
170 



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pure 
Ithe 
I on- 

had 
. the 
1 
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one 

the 
;e a 

3 of 

in- 
ihat 
her 
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the 
the 
ops 
lae. 
on- 
re. 



THE OUTCAST 

But then she had been an exile, voluntarily 
mdeed-and no one knew it better than 
herself; an exile for four years-and she 
80 young! It was all very sad. "Would 
her exile be ended now 1" she asked herself, 
half afraid of her own thoughts. 

Chicago seemed so far away. Would 
she ever go back to mother-to home ? The 
lurking fear brought a cold perspiration to 
her forehead, and she groaned at intervals 
like one tormented with a spasm of pain. 

The place looked strangely solitary in 
the distance that afternoon as I walked up 
the roadway which lay on the north side. 
Through the thiok brush which guarded 
the approach on the other side two women 
emerged, dressed in shabby black. Their 
faces were thickly veiled, but I recognized 
the form of the woman I had met the 
uight before. They passed along in 

m 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



I' 



silence, and moved on quickly toward the 
river-bank. 

It was easy to brand them with the 
scarlet letter of their shame and diive them 
into the wilderness. But what would 
Jesus do ? What would Jesus do if he had 
met them on the roadway! The question 
burned iteelf into my soul. How far has 
the Church worked out the problem, or 
has she given up the pr- Vlem as impossible 
of solution? Areweo tent to say that it 
n an incident of our ciirilization? Alas 
for the Christ 1 Alaa for the Cross ! They 
will not go to church. Enough said. The 
Church must go to them. 

Absorbed with the thoughts the sight of 
these women had rekindled in my brain, I 
took a somewhat irregular course towwd 
my objective. SoUy, worn out with the 
unbroken watching day and night, was 
lying face downward under the poplars, 
fast asleep. The crenking of the door as I 
172 



THE OUTCAST 



entered made the sick woman start up and 
turn her head quickly. For the moment 
her senses seemed to be dazed, and there 
was mist in her eyes, 

" You are better somewhat f " Her lips 
muttered something in response and a faint 
smile lit up her features. " And you are 
happy, too, I hope ?" She looked at me in 
silence. 

" You are not unhappy, Esther f Jesug 
gives us joy." 

"But for one thing," she whispered, 
and a heavy cough brought a deep pink 
to her cheeks. " It is hard t» die here, sir. 
Won't you send me— home— to mother ?" 

" If that is your wish. It means a long, 
long journey." 

"How long?" she interrupted, 
hundred miles; 



hardly fit for it.' 

"Sixteen hundred miles — not 
173 



you 



very fit. 



't. 



;J !; 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 

But it will be eMier to die there. Won't 
you send me home ?" 

"Yes, Esther, you will go home, please 
«od, just as soon as we can arrange; and 
the nurse will go, too." 

Her face was aglow with joy and she 
closed her eye„ in peace. 

Meanwhile, Solly came in, and at the 
sound of his feet on the thrcahold sie 
opened her eyes again. The expression 
on her face revealed her love for him-and 
what a love I 

"Solly," sije said, as she stretched out 
to him her feeble hand, " I'm going home 
to mother. Love me to th^" She ooulj 
say no more. 

He bent over the bed, his face 8orrowf:,l, 
and kissed hei -n the forehead. 

„ J^"* °'^'" * °°** ^^ ^""^ to the press: 

There is a young woman dying in «, 

shack— It is a case more for pity than for 

blame. She is plesdi,,!. to be sent home to 

174 



THE O .TOAST 



her mother to die. There are two onrsc 
open : We can either leave her here .0 die 
«d find a pauper's grave, or we can send 
her home to die in a mother's arms. It 
•eems .0 me as if every mother-heart would 
wy, Send her home-wnd her home.' 
We need within the next few hours two 
nuidred and fifty dollars." 

The response, as liberal as it was im 
mediiate, came from a hundred hearts. 
Mothers came, fathers came, their heart. 
Weedi^ for was she not somebody', 
child f Young men can',, y„u^ ^omen 
came, and all in haste, tor was she not 
their sister, fallen though she was. 

Tt was a beautiful day. The gold and 
purple haze of the Indian summer 
stretched like a counterpane ove- the val- 
ley, and there, far-oflF, lay the mountains, 
like sleeping kings with their ooroneto of 
»now, and clad i. shining armor sil- 
houetted against the blue. The stillness 
178 



'I! 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 




that hov.^ over the little cbin wa. 
broken only by ,ho g^ntlo breeze that 
'frred the branches of the poplars. 

Won't you .end me homer She wa« 
speaking in delirinm. 

"P-org.l,",aid Solly, as he moved 
^wardher-<SheW.d,.amingofham.." 
He raised her up and spoke her name irto 
ner ear. • 

"Mothet-motherl" And riie passed 
away m his arms. 

An hour later Solly, flushed and ner 
vous brought me the news of her death. 

She ain't go to Chicago now, poor 
gal, he said, trying to contr'' b" .aelf in 
the great struggle between love ai,d grief. 
She ain't go now." 

"Yea, Solly," l replied, "she wiU go, 
dead indeed, but she will go; and you- 
you will go with her." 

He turned away his head and put his 
hands to his eyes as if pain and perplexit, 
176 



that 

wu 

oved 
ne." 

ip.to 

« 

iwd 



not 
in 
ef. 



Po, 



THE OUTCA8T 

were there. I waJted f/». *i.« 

-^ILStr? '"^' '"" ^*'" «" ^ ^"^""N^ 

"To-night I" he ejolaimed, and hoai- 
Uted a little. «i_5 .^„^ ,., ,^^ 

doe, the train go r That waa all he could 
^y. Soii.ething suffocating was in his 
throat. The tides were rising. 
"And there is thia, too, Solly- 1 me 

"Going to CO better, air," he replied. 
M he stepped forward to the door. " Yes- 
terday wjm Atonement Day." 

■^•^•'kproceaaion of women aoonatomed 
to prowl about in the night was on it. way 
to the httle cabin. When I rewhed the 
<toor they were standing outside, about 
twenty of them, and the sound of their 
lamentations made the ight melancholy. 
A. I arose to speak, some of them bowed 

12 lyy 



THE BBOKEN TBAIL 



their heads, others held their handker- 
chiefs to their eyes. I told them of the 
ainner's Friend, and of the deliverance and 
home-ooming from tho house of bondage 
that awaited them. For had the Deliverer 
not come f Why need they despair f 

"Now for the last time you will look 
upon the face of your friend Esther. 
Write her name upon your hearts. Oh, 
Esther, if you could speak to us now, what 
would you say? 'The wages of sin is 
death, but the gift of God is eternal life 
through Jesus Christ our Lord.' 

"By her whom you cannot think of 
without a gush of tears ; by the memory of 
your mother in heaven to-night; by the 
love that saves you and me to the utter^ 
most, arise out of Egypt" 
in solemn silence. The crucifix was in her 
hand, pressed closely to her breast— she 
had died holding it. 



178 



adker- 
of the 
X and 
•ndage 
iverer 

I look 
Isther. 
Oh, 
what 
sin is 
I life 

ik of 
•ryof 
f the 
atter- 

nher 
—she 




THE FORBIDDEN CITY 

(A COMMENTABY.) 

WiTHiK every city, large and amall, 
there is another city— a city within a 
city. Chicago has its Harrison Street- 
Paris its Latin Quartier-London its Pic- 
cadilly—New York its Bowery- a city 
without a church, without a child, without 
a home, as old as the first civilization 
and as new as our own. It has preserved 
Its identity and citizenship despite the 
evolution of our moral and ethical stand- 
ards. 

There it stands, black and foul against 
the skies with the smoke of human sacri- 
fice—the forbidden city, the graveyard of 
our civilization. 

So much has been said about the 
methods employed to replete its short- 
lived population— so much more may be 
Mid. Statistics are given us of the maxi- 
mum wages in some stores and factories 
181 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



T 




where young girl, are kept on the border- 
land of starvation. We believe the day is 
near when the state will make it impossible 
for such unscrupulous employers to amase 
a fortune at the sacrifice of the girlhood 
and womanhood of the nation. 

The modem Shylock who demands his 
pound of flesh at whatever cost, philan- 
thropist or religionist though he be, should 
be branded as a criminal of the vilest char- 
acter, and dealt with on the statute books 
under the penal code. 

There is, too, the man or woman who 
visits the quiet country villages and 
allures the unsuspecting maiden to the 
great city with the premise of high wages 
and easy work. These agents travel over 
the continent and in Europe, sending their 
human freight to the marts of the city 
where they are sold unwittingly and in- 
voluntarily into the maebt««a of vice and 
crime. 

188 



THE FORBIDDEN CITY 



Listen to this tale, commonplace enough. 
In one of our northern towns a young 
woman, a Scotch immigrant, came to see 
her brother. She arrived a day sooner 
than he expected, consequently he was not 
at the station to meet her. She waited all 
day. Towards evening a matronly woman 
entered into conversation with her and 
persuaded her to go to her home until the 
morning. When she arrived there she was 
locked into a room. The next day the 
brother learned that his sister had arrived. 
He informed the police. A search was 
made. They found her in a brothel, where 
she had been incarcerated and compelled, 
in spite of her cries and protests, to sur- 
render herself to the shame and ignominy 
of an inmate. 

But what shall we say of the wretch who 
comes into a Chrutian home, wins the 
confidence and love of a sweet, pure girl, 
183 



■;!l 

.1 i ; 



II 



IH 



THE BBOKEN TRAIL 



and in an unsuspecting hour ruins her life 
and sends her to the cross alone f 

Alone I For such is the double standard 
of morals recognized by society that the 
one goes to the wilde.-ness— the other to 
the drawing-roam. Indeed it has become 
almost a thing heroic for a young man to 
steal the bloom from the flower of virtue. 
In the words of the uncrowned queen of 
American .women, let us have "a white 
life for two." 

When the Portland Fair closed there 
were hundreds of girls missing that have 
never been found. In New York City 
there are one thousand nameless graves 
eveiy month. There are three hundred 
thousand erring girls in America, and 
three-fourths of them have been mined by 
some tiiclery or treachery. In Chicago 
there are twenty-five thousand fallen 
women, only twenty per cent, of whom 
entered the life willingly. Every year 
184 



THE FORBIDDEN CITY 



sixty-four thousand girls are brought into 
slavery on this continent, and most of them 
against their will. Girls are being sold at 
the rate of one hundred every twenty-four 
hours. 

Thus they oome to the Forbidden City, 
the only asylum and refuge left for them' 
m a cold, inhospitable world, other than 
the grave. But, ah, me, the grave were 
better. For they who have once passed 
through the gates into this city need not 
the imagery of a Dante to depict for them 
the horror of the Inferno. The longing for 
a better life in the saner moments of their 
existence, that in the aftermath only 
makes more bitter the hopelessness and the 
despair; the drug that gives sleep in the 
hour of weariness; the wine <,hat stimu- 
lates in the hour of remorse; the cigarette 
that soothes the jaded nerves-without 
them no picture of hell will ever be com- 
plete. 

J 88 






THE BROKEN TRAIL 

What has the Churoh done for the city 
within the city ? Societ;^- has built a wall 
around it. I wonder if the Ohurch will 
ever make a waj out. 

It is not to be demolished hj the pulling 
down of brick and mortar, nor by the bat- 
tering-ram of law and polemics; else, num- 
bered among the dead cities of the past, it 
would to-day be of interest only to the 
relic-hunter and to the artiquarian. 

It seems to me there is but one way out. 
It may not be through the Church as an 
organization. For this fact leaps to our 
eyes, that the trend of modem church life 
is to get away from the centre of vice and 
crime to some popular aud fashionable 
suburb where salvation is easy and service 
claims but little sacrifice. If the Church 
had realized her Master's commission to 
the city within the city, there would not 
be 80 many down-town churches to-day 
handed over to the distiller and the mer- 
186 



i ■; 



THE PORBIliDEN CITY 

chant prince, and those for vhom Christ 
died left to perish like the beasts that 
bi-owse on the hillside. 

Among the names we enshrine in our 
hearts and write on the list of the world's 
heroes two will not be forgotten: Elizabeth 
Fry, who spent her life reclaiming htr 
fallen sisters, and Father Damwn, who 
waB not afraid to stoop down and kiss the 
leper on the cheek. 

So, methinks, it will only be, through the 
devotion and sacrifice of noblt women and 
pure men, who are not afraid to lay down 
their lives in the service of blighted 
womanhood— and all for Christ's sake— 
that the walls of the city will fall and the 
day of deliverance come. 

There is a prejudice, we know, against 
work of this kind. Society, with its 
cliques and castes, finessing and trimming, 
gathers up in its arms the robes of respeot- 
tbility and passes by on the other side. 
187 



ri ■ 



M 



THE BROKEN TRAIL 



But let every Canadian woman refine to 
be ruled by theae absolute and un-Ohriatian 
•tandarda, and ask henelf the queation, 
What would Jems doS 

So I plead for a League of Social Ser- 
vice, which shall recognize no distinction 
in church or creed or caste, nothing but a 
divine and universal sisterhood. It should 
indude both men and women, inspired 
with the love of Christ, and enthused with 
one ideal, the redemption of the citv 
w'Jiin the city. 

All over our country there are hundreds 
of quiet Christian homes which might be 
opened to receive one of these girls until 
the time came when she oould venture 
forth into the world again fit for its taaks 
and responsibilities. 

In a mining town in British Columbia a 

minister's wife opened her home and in 

four years mothered five of them from a 

life i>f shame. We believe the time ia now 

188 



THE POBBID'"'^N CITi: 



wh«n thu method sLould b« raoogniMj u 

"ore pr«ctiori and effectual than oentndix- 

ing them in reaoue homes. 
This is what we mean by the Lea^e of 

Social Serrioe, and all our talk about the 
evangeliaation of the wnrW will only be u 
aoui'ding brau and tinkling cymbal if it 
mean* leas to you and to me than that the 
city within the city mp«t first be won for 
Chriet For so long as one stone stands 
upon another your mission and mine to the 
world remains unaccomplished and oup 
Christianity incomplete. 



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